A potentially explosive and radioactive sinkhole near Assumption Parish, Louisiana has led local authorities to order a mass evacuation.
After the now 400 feet deep hole was discovered on August 3, the mayor of the town ordered between 100 and 150 households to vacate their homes. The same day, Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a declaration of emergency.
Bubbling water in the sinkhole and in nearby areas, where there has been oil and gas exploration in the past, led authorities to believe that it might have caused the release of radioactive material. While state tests did not detect radiation, a nearby road, Highway 70, was ordered shut after officials discovered the sinkhole caused a 36 inch natural gas pipeline to bend, heightening concerns that explosions might occur. To make the situation even more combustible, the hole neighbors a well containing more than a million gallons of liquid butane, a highly flammable vapor.