Work to stabilise an historic iron ore mine shaft on council-owned land in Egremont, Cumbria has been halted after ground around the top of the shaft collapsed leading to the evacuation of eight nearby properties.
A spokesperson for Copeland Borough Council confirmed that stabilisation contractor Forkers was on site at Howbank Road at the time of the incident and that one of the company’s rigs has also fallen into the hole. Local media reports have also suggested that one of Forkers employees was dragged into the hole by the rig and was rescued by a local resident but the contractor has declined to comment on the incident.
According to the council spokesperson, monitoring of the area had been underway for some months but work to backfill and cap the mine shaft only started yesterday.
Work on site has been stopped and the area closed off for safety while the council’s engineers carry out further investigations.
The town of Egremont has suffered from mine shaft collapses in the past. The most recent event in 2005 led to the demolition of nine houses.