Enormous, Possibly Radioactive Sinkhole Swallows an Acre of Louisiana, Causes Forced EvacuationsNews Flash Monday, August 20th, 2012
(NaturalNews) A huge, foul-smelling and potentially radioactive sinkhole has gulped an entire acre of cypress trees south of Baton Rouge, forcing the evacuations of about 150 homes and leading affected residents to file a class-action lawsuit against the Texas Brine Co. for its alleged responsibility.
“On Friday, August 3, 2012, a sinkhole, 422 feet deep and 372 feet wide emerged releasing a foul diesel odor and created salt-water slurry, which contains diesel fuel,” the suit begins.
Lisa LeBlanc, the lead plaintiff in the case, and others affected by the sinkhole reside in Assumption Parish, which is about 60 miles east of New Orleans. According to the federal complaint, a salt cavern being utilized by Texas Brine to store radioactive materials that are byproducts of the drilling industry failed.
The complaint accuses Texas Brine of being complicit, saying the company knew the cavern walls were at risk of failing as early as January 2011 but did not provide any advance warning to the public.
“The public was not warned in January 2011 or any time thereafter or prior of the potential danger resulting from the failure of this cavern and the general public had no knowledge of the storage of the radioactive material in the cavern,” says the complaint.
The suit says the company “used the cavern as a deposit area for naturally occurring radioactive material arising from drilling into two defendant-owned salt caverns.”
“In early September 2010, defendant began reworking the cavern well, milling a section of salt higher than the existing cavern roof, at 3,400 feet deep, to see if the upper strata could be mined. This area extends for about 100 feet through the well casing above the cavern roof,” it says.