When the wife comes into the garden, she only finds the lawn mower – and a six meter deep hole. Research into the causes of the fatal accident in Thuringia is underway. Does mining matter?

After a man’s fatal fall into a hole that suddenly appeared in his garden, officials see no further increased risks for residents in Bad Sulza near Weimar.

“From our point of view, there is no reason for concern for the local society,” said a spokesman for the Thuringian State Office for the Environment, Mining and Nature Conservation (TLUBN). On Monday, a 62-year-old man on the outskirts of town fell into a hole about one meter wide and six meters deep while mowing the lawn in his garden and died. According to the police, the hole suddenly opened up.

No increased risk for the wider environment

Since, according to initial findings, the hole has the shape of a bell and gets wider towards the bottom, it could happen “that the edge does not hold up,” said the spokesman. “But beyond that, there is no increased risk for the wider environment.” The barrier in a radius of 50 meters is lush and sufficient. A detailed look into the hole via camera, which is planned for Wednesday, is to be implemented with a turntable ladder for safety reasons.

The people in Bad Sulza seemed quite unconcerned on Tuesday. According to the lifeguard, there was a lot of activity in the nearby outdoor pool. Aside from the sympathy for the family, “everything is the same,” said Tobias Krug on the phone.

It is still unclear whether the hole was caused by a sudden sinkhole or is related to old mining in the region. Considerations as to whether an underground stream caused the earth to collapse were further examined by the state office on Tuesday. “We’re not ruling anything out at the moment,” said the spokesman.

In the spa town of Bad Sulza with its graduation tower there is definitely a certain potential for sinkholes due to water-soluble rock layers, said the spokesman. If this were the cause, however, it would be the first sinkhole in the city. The potential here is also no higher than in other such areas in Thuringia.