Three-bedroom house collapses into mine shaft

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Camborne house collapsed

An entire corner of a stone semi-detached house in Cornwall suddenly collapsed yesterday. The three-bedroom house in Camborne dramatically lost an enormous chunk of the bathroom yesterday morning, after it plunged into a mine shaft under the house.

And it's not the first.
> The BBC said that the family had fled their home earlier in the week, after enormous cracks opened up in one wall - and they spotted that a gap had appeared under their doorstep. The Daily Mail reported that before dawn yesterday morning, there was a terrible rumble, and the entire wall collapsed.

The house had been a victim of one of Cornwall's many unplotted mine shafts. It's thought that the shaft had been blocked with railway sleepers when it was closed. Over the years the sleepers rotted away, and the recent rain has added a great deal of extra weight on top of them. It was the final straw which caused them to collapse - taking a major part of the building with them.

House collapses into mine shaft


Not unusual

The sheer number of unplotted mine shafts in Cornwall means that the county is known for huge craters suddenly appearing as a result of collapsed mine shafts. Most don't affect properties - like the one that appeared on Tuesday in a road in Rosudgeon in Cornwall. It caused traffic chaos, but no property damage.

However, occasionally a house is in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is currently a £1.6 million project underway in New Street in Camborne to secure a row of houses which were built on top of an old mine shaft. Some of the houses have been underpinned by steel girders which are forced 14 metres into the ground.

One of the most affected areas is the town of Troon near Camborne, where more than 100 houses have been damaged - or are at risk.

But it can happen anywhere. In November 2012 nine houses in Egremont, Cumbria, were evacuated for five weeks, after a mine collapsed and left an 80 ft deep hole just a couple of metres from their back doors.

And one of the most dramatic was back in 1999, when a retired lorry driver in Walsall was woken at 7am by creaking noises. He called the council to investigate, but over the day there were more alarming noises and more cracks appeared. By 4pm, just 10 minutes after he left the house, the entire structure disappeared into a mine shaft.

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Factors damaging property value

Factors damaging property value