Ironbridge Road hole 'probably caused by collapsed mine shaft'

A collapsed mine shaft is believed to be the cause of a hole that emerged suddenly in Shropshire.

The hole opened up on the B4373 in Ironbridge on Boxing Day - prompting an emergency road closure.

Road engineers were at the site this week using two drilling rigs to try to establish soil properties and the extent of past mining activities.

A Telford and Wrekin Council spokesman said it seemed "almost certain" a collapsed mine shaft caused the hole.

"When we understand exactly what the problem is, we will know who is responsible for the repair," he said.

"If it proves to be the council, we will then design a solution and recruit a contractor to do the work."

The hole is about 3m (10ft) from one side to the other and 1.3m (4ft) deep.

There had been a number of similar problems owing to the fragile landscape of the Ironbridge Gorge in the past, including a series of houses which fell into the River Severn in the 1950s.

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