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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Demolition for collapse-hit homes
Mineshaft hole
The hole appeared overnight and quickly filled with water
Some homes which were evacuated when a 30ft (9m) hole appeared in back gardens in a town in Cumbria, are to be demolished, housing officials said.

Nine homes were initially evacuated when a former iron ore mine collapsed in Egremont last June.

Tests have shown that if the mine shaft is to be repaired, four of the bungalows will have to be knocked down.

Home Housing, which owns the properties, said demolition was the only option.

Suitable materials

A spokesman said the homes would have to go to allow engineers to cap the shaft.

He said: "To carry out the remedial works we need to demolish at least four of the properties at this stage.

"The depth of the rock head is the issue and we are looking to cap or surround the collapsed mine shaft with suitable materials so that it makes the ground above safe.

"We have been talking to our customers who have remained close to the crater about relocating them on a more permanent basis because it is looking like they will not be able to reoccupy the properties."

Home Housing said it will rehouse those affected and suggested compensation could also be paid.

Doubts over mine collapse homes
28 Jun 05 |  Cumbria

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