Officials decide Runnells sinkhole not a mine sign

RUNNELS, Iowa (AP) — Officials have determined a sinkhole in the Polk County town of Runnells was caused by an old septic tank, not an abandoned mine as some suspected.

A state environmental engineer, Mike Bourland, told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/162maTW) there were coal mines in the area.

The sinkhole made its debut about two weeks ago in Bob Borg’s front yard. It was nearly 10 feet deep and 10 feet wide, gaping a few yards away from his house. The soil had eroded around a power pole, which was taken out.

Environmental engineers dug into the sinkhole on Friday and decide it wasn’t an entrance to a mine.

Runnells Mayor Ron Tate says several sinkholes have appeared over the past 20 years in a field on the east side of town.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

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