Bayou Corne residents get briefed on sinkhole

BAYOU CORNE, LA (WAFB) - A failed cavern is believed to be responsible for the sinkhole in Assumption Parish.

"Our fears and suspicions have been confirmed," Martin Triche, president of the Assumption Parish Police Jury. "The cavern had failed."

Those words came on the heels of a statement released by Texas Brine acknowledging a faulty cavern below the Bayou Corne sinkhole, but state officials were even more direct with regards to the company's claim that seismic activity was responsible for the cavern's failure.

"The USGS told us the cavern collapse caused seismic activity, not the other way around," said Stephen Chustz, secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

More than 75 members of the community listened as representatives from state and local agencies explained a plan of action for cleanup around the sinkhole and cavern. That plan will include an additional three wells that will vent and flare natural gas in the area over the next few weeks.

The exact cause of the sinkhole will be determined as well, as more tests are conducted on the material within the cavern.

"We want to insure the safety of the Bayou Corne community and it will not be driven by the Texas Brine timetable or for corporate liability. It will be driven by science and the need to protect people here."

And, now that the cause of the sinkhole appears to have been located, those people are just anxious to move forward.

"Everything we do as a parish and organization should be surrounded by just that, getting people home, so we're still waiting on that I guess," said community resident Jeremy Landry.

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