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Giant sinkhole amazes small Kansas town

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August 02, 2013|by Jim Grawe | KWCH 12 Eyewitness News
Wallace County Sheriff's Department

(WALLACE COUNTY, Kan.) — Residents in a small western Kansas community say they can't believe their eyes. Something unexplainable happened that's left people in awe and a little on edge. 

At first it was something those living in Wallace County only heard about.  Then they saw the pictures. 

"I thought it was just crazy," said David Baily.

So crazy, it's caused people to flock to a remote area north of Sharon Springs to see for themselves whether the pictures are real.

"How can this happen? What happened to what was below?" wondered Virgil Fischer.

A few days ago, the earth opened up and left a giant sinkhole in the middle of Dalton Hoss' pasture.

"Actually, my brother found it.  He called me up and his voice was quaking and he said, 'You'll never believe what I just saw,'" Hoss said.

What he saw was huge.  The sinkhole is 200 feet across and 90 feet deep.  People are amazed by the size of the hole that seemed to show up overnight.

"I'd seen pictures and I knew it was deep, but I didn't think it was this deep. You get out here and you get a whole different perspective on how deep it is," said Gavin Mote.

You really can't get a good sense of the size and scope unless you walk up close to it.  And just how safe that is remains a question. There are large cracks right next to the sinkhole.  Sheriff Larry Townsend said it appears to be getting bigger and he doesn't know what's going to stop it.

"Man had nothing to do with this.  This is a God thing.  There's no oil well around here, there are no irrigation wells anywhere near.  This is something that just happened," Sheriff Townsend said.

And it's something that's left people in awe, wondering just how solid the ground is where they are walking.  That's why both the landowner and sheriff don't want people to go out and see it, because of the potential danger.

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Sinkhole amazes small western Kansas town
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