Tags: kansas | sinkhole | devours | pasture

Kansas Sinkhole Devours Pasture, Becomes Tourist Attraction

Image: Kansas Sinkhole Devours Pasture, Becomes Tourist Attraction

By Michael Mullins   |   Monday, 05 Aug 2013 07:02 AM

A massive Kansas sinkhole opened up last week in Wallace County, stretching some 200 feet across and 90 feet deep, according to local residents.

The sinkhole was discovered approximately eight miles north of the town of Sharon Springs, Kan., KWCH-TV reported.

Having been a remote, largely ignored rural pasture one week ago, the site is now a tourist destination where people, despite being told to stay away, have flocked to see where the earth opened up.

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"Man had nothing to do with this. This is a God thing," Sheriff Larry Townsend told KWCH-TV. "There's no oil well around here, there are no irrigation wells anywhere near. This is something that just happened."

The bystanders who gathered near the sinkhole to see were in disbelief.

"I thought it was just crazy," David Baily told KWCH-TV, while another local resident, Virgil Fischer, asked "How can this happen? What happened to what was below?"

The property is owned by Dalton Hoss, who along with Sheriff Townsend has warned eager onlookers to stay away from the pasture considering the sinkhole may expand in time.

"Actually, my brother found it. He called me up and his voice was quaking and he said, 'You'll never believe what I just saw,'" Hoss told KWCH-TV.

No one was reported injured or killed as a result of the sinkhole.

Sinkholes have been making headlines across the United States in recent months, particularly in the state of Florida.

In February, a Florida man was swallowed up by a sinkhole while lying in his bedroom.

Despite efforts by both family and first responders, 36-year-old Jeff Bush's remains were never recovered and the site has since been stabilized with clay and debris.

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Weeks after the tragic incident, a second sinkhole opened up in the same town of Seffner, Fla. No one was injured in the second sinkhole, which appeared between two houses.

Sinkholes are quite common in Florida due to the state's porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As rainwater filters down into the ground, it dissolves the rock, causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse, Reuters notes.

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