SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Owners of two homes in the 1500 block of South Devon Road were surprised on Wednesday when a hole opened between their homes and under a portion of both of them. They're wondering how endangered their homes are.
The City of Springfield sent an inspector to the scene, who took photos and started looking into the history of the area. Rick Garner, a professional engineer with the city's Building Services Department, says it appears the hole is in a mine shaft that was filled in possibly 100 years ago. Garner didn't know what was taken out of the mine, but speculates it was lead or zinc.
City Utilities of Springfield shut off natural gas service to one of the homes.
The hole appears to be 10 to 15 feet deep and possibly 20 feet wide. The owners of both homes did not want to talk to a reporter late Wednesday afternoon. One of them wondered why the City of Springfield didn't know about the mine and prohibit the building of homes there.
Garner has an aerial photo with the old mine shaft and nearby mine tunnels marked on it. He thinks the map may have been made in the 1980s. The subdivision appears to have been developed in the 1970s, according to old city directories.
Garner said engineers will try to determine if the homes can be saved.