Sinker engulfs Illinois football field in shocking video

A massive sinkhole spanning 100 feet opened up in an Illinois park Wednesday, swallowing a light pole in the middle of recreational grounds and leaving a gaping, deep hole in its wake.

The terrifying moment was captured by a nearby surveillance camera on Wednesday morning, showing an area between two soccer and football fields opened up around a light pole, sending it collapsing and releasing plumes of smoke at Gordon Park Moore in the town of Alton, located about 18 miles north of St. Louis, Missouri.

The hole is about 100 feet wide and 30 feet deep, said Michael Haynes, Alton’s parks and recreation director, according to NBC affiliate KSDK in St. Louis.

“It looks like something out of a movie, doesn’t it?” It looks like a bomb went off,” Haynes told the outlet.

Fortunately, no one was on the ground at the time and no one was injured, according to KSDK.

The sinkhole appears to be the result of an underground mine.

A spokesperson for New Frontier Materials, which has an underground mine, told the affiliate: “The affected area has been secured and will remain off-limits for the foreseeable future while inspectors and experts examine the mine and carry out repairs. »

“No one was injured in the incident, which was reported to Mine Safety Health Administration (MSHA) officials in accordance with applicable regulations. Safety is our priority. We will work with the city to resolve this issue as quickly and safely as possible to ensure minimal impact on the community.

NBC News has reached out to the city of Alton and New Frontier Materials for further comment.

Gordon Moore Park is temporarily closed “while the sinkhole investigation is completed,” Alton Parks and Recreation shared on social media.

Sinkholes occur naturally when groundwater flows underground and dissolves rock beneath the surface, according to the United States Geological Survey. They are quite common in Florida because the state largely has limestone beneath the ground surface.

However, they can also occur as a result of mining, leaking utility lines or the decomposition of buried materials, according to Penn State Extension, which focuses on agronomy and horticulture education .

Last year, a 40-foot-wide sinkhole opened near Knoxville, Iowa, and was later determined to be likely due to the collapse of a limestone mine, reported the Des Moines Register.

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