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Last Updated: Friday, 23 February 2007, 17:57 GMT
Mine shaft road to remain closed
The hole in a field on the Powys-Shropshire border was reported on Sunday.

A road sealed off after an old mine shaft collapsed on a Powys hillside will not reopen until early next month, say officials.

A hole, around 50ft across and 30ft deep (9m by 15m), opened up at Priestweston, near Montgomery, on Sunday morning.

Powys Council said it was still assessing the effects of the collapse.

One family was forced to move from their chalet home to a relative's house next door because of safety concerns.

The unclassified road, which is on the border with Shropshire and runs parallel with the hole, was initially cordoned off by Dyfed-Powys Police on Sunday at about 1100 GMT.

There had been some confusion over whether the hole was in Wales or England, but Powys Council confirmed that it was its responsibility.

Hole in ground
The hole is close to the border of Powys and Shropshire

However, the authority will be working with counterparts in Shropshire to assess the damage, and whether it has affected the road.

Old lead and silver mine workings in the area, dating back to the 1800s, are understood to have been the cause of the problem.

John Hughes, who lives in one of the three homes near the hole, said on Sunday that he was told by police to move out from the chalet home he shares with his wife and four children, aged between two and seven.

He said: "Every time a vehicle went past, a bit more fell in, so we rang the police."

In the meantime, they have moved into his wife's parents' house, 10 metres from the hole.

Mr Hughes said he knew of mineshafts in the area but had been unaware of one under the road.

Mine shaft collapses on hillside
18 Feb 07 |  Mid Wales

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