November 2nd, 2010
10:24 AM ET

Giant sinkhole opens in Germany

Repairs are to begin Wednesday on a 65-foot-deep (20 meters) sinkhole that opened in the eastern German town of Schmalkalden on Monday, local authorities said.

The sinkhole, which measured more than 130 feet (40 meters) across, swallowed a car and forced the evacuation of 25 people in nine houses, the regional newspaper Thueringer-Allgemeine reported.

Officials told the paper more than 1,000 truckloads of gravel would be needed to fill the hole.

Residents reported hearing a loud roar as the earth gave way early Monday morning, according to the newspaper report. The cause of the sinkhole had not been determined.

Jürgen Reinholz, environment and agriculture minister for the state of Thuringia, said natural causes were suspected, according to Spiegel Online International.

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Filed under: Germany • World
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. SillyGermans

    That poor yellow vehicle, guess he ain't going anywhere for a good while.

    November 2, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      In looking at it, there doesn't even seem to be a way to save the yellow car. I mean, where could someone drive it, that's not closer to the edge?

      November 2, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • merecat

      They could drive it in the garage, unless it's full of stuff.. Ha Ha

      November 2, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      There looks to be a couple feet in front of it.... They could worm their way out of their slowly.... Very very very slowly....

      November 2, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike R

      Nothing a little K-turn onto the lawn can't solve...

      November 2, 2010 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Kalyan

      Check more pics there....of your fav yellow car too...LoLzz

      November 2, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • observer

      I know what causes sinkholes. It's the Earth farting.

      November 2, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Derugo

      Can anyone guess what kind of a car is it? ( the yellow one)

      November 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      The yellow car would be put into neutral, and towed with a long chain. It would be nerve-wracking for the person steering the car, but it would be the only way to save it. It might not be worth it. The ground should also be tested in the surrounding area by X-ray for caves, underground streams, old mines, or other causes; it could happen again.

      November 2, 2010 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ILikeFoodz

      Just get a bunch of people, pick the car up, and turn it to the side. Then drive out 😛

      November 2, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      From this pic, it looks like the yellow car would indeed be saved. Yea!

      However, anything in that 5-car garage is toast.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      The owner of the yellow car doing the "Happy Dance".–022.jpg

      November 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      the yellow car is a 1980s model of VW Passat 1980s model....i think..what do u say?

      November 2, 2010 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny

      1980 vw Passat..likes to drive on the edge....

      November 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • digimadd

      Natural causes underground!!! super colliding particles and the *underground" you know, are probly what happened.

      November 2, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Orujam

      "observer", must've been one helluva fart! Well, the news did say something about a loud roar. Whatever happened to all that stink?

      November 2, 2010 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rod Beaton

      Helicopter could move it..

      November 2, 2010 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • ikantraed

      Oh no, it's the Sandworms of Dune!!! They burrowed through the earth from central america

      November 3, 2010 at 3:44 am | Report abuse |
  2. Binky

    "natural causes were suspected"... bwahahahaha!!!!! snort, bwahahahaha!!!! I can't breathe.... giggle, hehehehehe, bwahaha!!!!! O my god! I can't breathe.....

    November 2, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • BC in BA

      50% of the United States is blaming Obama.

      November 2, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Huh ?

      November 2, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      100% of the Republicans are blaming Obama and Pelosi for this sinkhole.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      BC, that's because 50% of Americans have nothing better to do than Blame Obama for things that he most definitely had no part of. i.e hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, sink holes, volcanoes.....

      November 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • muke

      who are you

      November 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • sulden

      Same reaction. Absolutely hysterical. STILL can't stop laughing.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      50% of Americans are blaming Obama

      50% of Americans are blaming Bush

      In other news....France took one look at this picture and immediately surrendered to the Sinkhole.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • april

      Well, friend, sometimes sinkholes are due to human endeavors – such as the one that opened up in my backyard when a giant drain pipe collapsed. Or the one that opened up in my uncles farm when an old mind shaft collapsed. Or the one that opened up in Utah last year when someone's fallout shelter collapsed. But a 65 foot hole is probably natural. I'll give you that.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • WeatherbyMarkV

      The other 50% is blaming Bush.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      sometimes collapses can happen from underground fires in abandoned coal mines; they can keep slowly burning 100+ years. I doubt that's the cause here, but, another example of how the earth can collapse due to man-made causes. Most that happen in urban areas are from broken water lines that keep spewing out water and slowly erroding away the earth. We had big one in Colorado on I-25 awhile back from a broken water line.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      I was wondering if anyone else thought that the wording of "natural causes are suspected" was funny. I'd say the odds are that an old mine shaft, or other man-made cavity are more likely causes, which I think would leave out "natural causes" altogether!

      November 2, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • oldman

      After looking at tonights election results it would appear that 51% are blaming Obama.

      November 2, 2010 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      Natural my butt. AGW caused this! (the Haitian earthquake too)

      November 3, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jimmy spectical

    This is Gods wrath on them. They are a cursed people. They had it coming, Repent NOW!!!!!!

    Oh wait, opps I though this was Haiti.
    This is such a travesty what a shame...... Poor people.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Cori


      November 2, 2010 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ewh347

      yup~ it's God's sign of judgment according to each individual deeds. God really want people to wake up and realize God's love for them before they die and go to the eternal suffering of hell~ God is anxiously calling everyone.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • UHhello

      ha ha good one!!

      November 2, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Or....a response from a Christian worship leader, and also one with an environmental science degree....This is earth, sinkholes happen. Lets keep the Christian mocking to a dull roar in these posts that have nothing to do with religion.

      November 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • with Chris

      As a non-christian, I'd like to say Chris is right. This has nothing to do with religion...or polictics for that matter. It speaks volumes of the character of people, when they turn scientific news stories into a milieu for bashing those who don't agree with them. Sink holes happen, as do tornadoes and mosquito bites.

      November 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Richp, Easton, Pa

    Might make one wonder what caused it, some WWII construction, cold war construction or true natural causes..

    November 2, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      Maybe they are on top of an old mine that collapsed...

      November 2, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  5. FindingHumor

    "BC in BA

    50% of the United States is blaming Obama"

    Thanks, that was good and I needed the laugh!

    November 2, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  6. Wil

    the other 50% are blaming Bush

    November 2, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      A more likely suspect. lol j/k

      November 2, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • NIcanadian

      I hope you guys do realize that you're basically saying that 100% of Americans are morons right? (50% blame Obama and 50% blame Buish)... the only ones who win here would be those who hate America not Democrats or Republicans.

      November 2, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • JackieInDallas

      @NIcanadian, not necessarily - knowing some of our citizens, some voted both ways!

      November 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      "I hope you guys do realize that you're basically saying that 100% of Americans are morons right?"

      Was there ever any doubt? "Basically" I mean?

      November 3, 2010 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. crabman

    bin laden ??

    November 2, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  8. Adam

    The yellow car. Imagine leaving for work in the wee hours, it is still very dark out. You enter and start your vehicle, shifting into reverse...

    November 2, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Tina

      That made me lmao

      November 2, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
    • geauxLSUtigers

      yeah, wow- can you imagine? lol! that's the last thing I would've had in mind!!!!!!!!!

      November 2, 2010 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  9. fuyuko

    At least no one was hurt. I am curious whether the hole was a natural cavern, a mine, or caused by poor implementation of sewage. I guess when CNN knows more so will we.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • yahoo

      I wouldn't count on it.

      November 2, 2010 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pat

    Just fill it with water and the people have lake front property. The value of that real estate just doubled.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • jack

      Then that might make it flush like a toilet, while you're swimming in it!

      November 2, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • radiationtherapy

      Yeah except their driveway is a boat launch.

      November 2, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. cam

    imagine ur house house was sitn n top of that hole

    November 2, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ralf

    The most interesting thing that's happened in this boring hole for a long time.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
  13. Daniel T.

    Has anyone noticed how fake that looks? honestly look at it close up, reminds me of a train set 🙁 and why is everyone repeating "50% of Americans Blame Obama" everyone knows it was the loch ness monster.

    November 2, 2010 at 11:21 am | Report abuse |
    • pooh

      You just repeated it.

      November 2, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |

      @pooh Sense of Humor fail.

      November 3, 2010 at 5:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jay

    Someone once said that oil is the earths lubricant and we're sucking it all out.....

    I dunno. something to think about? Maybe?

    Aw hell.. Its Obamas fault...

    November 2, 2010 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Sucking out oil or gas can cause huge gaps underground; yes it is possible.
      Fault? Not anybody American. It just looks like a hole, but if it is a fault, it should be named for somebody local to Germany. Let's see, who might have been somebody evil in Germany in the past 100 years or so...

      November 2, 2010 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • John K

      Are you implying that we're doing Mother Earth dry?

      November 3, 2010 at 7:59 am | Report abuse |
  15. M

    Now they can install a pool!

    November 2, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Kinda deep... that water is going to cost them...

      November 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
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