New sinkhole find: Croxley Green homes evacuated

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A house and three flats were evacuated on Sunday night after another sinkhole appeared in Hertfordshire.

The hole was found in a back garden in Croxley Green, near Rickmansworth.

The sinkhole is about 5ft (1.5m) by 5ft (1.5m) and 20ft (6m) deep. Residents were allowed back into their homes in the cul-de-sac on Monday.

On Saturday, 17 homes were evacuated in Hemel Hempstead as a sinkhole about 35ft (9m) wide and 20ft (6m) deep opened up in Oatridge Gardens.

Dr Vanessa Banks, of the British Geological Society, said heavy rain had led to a rise in sinkhole numbers.

'We are stuck'

Max Green, who lives in a flat in Oatridge Gardens, said it was a "bit of a shock" to be told about what happened on Saturday morning.

"At the moment we are stuck," he said.

"The road is closed, we can walk out a side gate, but can't get out by car. I think we'll be stuck for a couple of days."

Mr Green said the hole opened up in the front garden of one of the houses that fronts on to the main road.

Ch Insp Glen Channer said a sinkhole discovered in Hemel Hempstead on Saturday was a "pretty substantial-sized hole"

"When I looked out of the window... all I could see were lots of police and gas engineers," he said.

"They were worried it could have caused damage to the gas pipes."

Rob Wheatley, who also lives nearby, said he believed the house on the corner, near where the hole had opened up in Oatridge Gardens, would have to be demolished.

"A tree has also fallen in to it," he said.

Dr Banks said: "Sinkholes have not been caused by the weather, they are triggered by the weather.

"The cause is the existence of a cavity at depth, be it artificial or natural. The trigger is water passing through the ground."

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