Jindal evades questions about visit to sinkhole

Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)
Aerial image February 20, 2013 (Source: Assumption Parish OEP)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. Bobby Jindal dodged questions about whether he'll visit the site of a massive sinkhole that has swallowed nine acres of land in swampy Assumption Parish.

Residents displaced since August have criticized the governor for having never traveled to see the sinkhole or speak with the families.

Asked Wednesday if he'll go the site, Jindal said he gets constant updates from state agencies overseeing response efforts. He pledged to hold Houston-based Texas Brine accountable for the damage and to make sure people are compensated for their losses.

But the governor wouldn't directly answer repeated questions about checking out the sinkhole in person.

WAFB reporter Greg Meriwether asked the governor a third time if he had any plans to go down there in person

"Again, I will continue to work with those agencies and we'll continue to work with local officials and those agencies to make sure the people are compensated," Jindal repeated.

"To make sure we hold Texas Brine accountable, to make sure under the permit and state law, they do what they are required to do to compensate folks who's property has been damaged, who've been inconvenienced and again we're going to continue to do everything we can to make sure that happens.

Scientists say the sinkhole formed after the failure of an underground salt cavern operated by Texas Brine, which extracted brine and piped it to nearby petrochemical facilities.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.