Supermarket evacuated after sinkhole appears

Firefighters say they will 'look into' the hole

Samuel Osborne
Tuesday 21 August 2018 16:31 BST
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The sinkhole opened up in an alley behind Sainsbury’s in the centre of Ripon, North Yorkshire
The sinkhole opened up in an alley behind Sainsbury’s in the centre of Ripon, North Yorkshire (Harrogate Borough Council)

A supermarket has been evacuated after a sinkhole opened up nearby.

Firefighters said they would “look into” the hole after staff and customers were asked to leave Sainsbury’s in the centre of Ripon, North Yorkshire.

The ground in an alley behind the building had given way.

Police and engineers were also called to the scene, but there were no reports of injuries.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said on Twitter on Tuesday: “Police and Fire and local authority Emergency Planning all currently investigating a report of a possible sinkhole opening in Ripon.

“No persons involved. Police trained drone operator en route to gain aerial footage. Until then, emergency services will continue to look into it.”

Police said they were called to the store at 10am.

One resident who lives nearby told the Ripon Gazette: ”It concerns me that the city centre, which has lasted this long, is now starting to show signs of subsidence. Hopefully it won’t be the start of something worse.

“It’s really scary considering how many sinkholes have happened over the last few years.”

Staff and customers were asked to leave the Sainsbury’s in the centre of Ripon
Staff and customers were asked to leave the Sainsbury’s in the centre of Ripon (Google Maps)

Ripon is well-known for sinkholes.

In 2016, a 74-year-old woman described her lucky escape after she almost fell into a 30ft (9m) deep sinkhole which appeared in her back garden in Magdelen’s Road.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) said in a report that sinkholes appeared in Ripon every two or three years in the 1980s and 1990s but there had not been any reported in the seven years before the 2014 event.

The BGS said there were a number of possible triggering mechanisms, relating to action of water underground.

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