Crater 20m deep opens in German town

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BERLIN—A crater some 65 feet (20 metres) deep has opened up in a residential area of an eastern German town — swallowing a car and a garage door but causing no injuries.

Emergency services were called to the scene in Schmalkalden at about 3 a.m. on Monday by a resident who reported hearing unusual noises. Six houses and 25 people were evacuated.

Lutz Katschmann of Thuringia state’s environment and geology office said it wasn’t immediately clear why the ground gave way, the German news agency DAPD reported. The crater measures 98 feet by 98 feet (30m by 30m).

Katschmann said it was possible that rock formations underground broke up, creating a cavity.

Authorities plan to fill the hole with gravel.

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