1. ITV Report

Ripon sinkhole: Here's what we know so far

The sinkhole that has opened up in Ripon Credit: Ben Bramley

Emergency services said a sinkhole has opened up in Ripon North Yorkshire. Here's what we know so far:

  • What exactly has happened?

A hole appeared in the gardens of Magdalen's Road, in Ripon, North Yorkshire on Tuesday night. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said there was no injuries but seven properties have been evacuated.

  • How deep is it?
The sinkhole that has opened up in Ripon Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Firefighters say the sinkhole is 66ft (20m) wide by 33ft (10m) with an 'unknown depth.'

  • Hasn't this happened before in Ripon?

The Ripon area is prone to sinkhole activity and this incident is close to where another opened up beneath a 100-year-old building in Magdalen's Close in 2014, leaving it in a precarious state.

A large crack in a house in Magdalen's Close, Ripon after a huge sinkhole opened up in the street in 2014 Credit: 2014
  • So are they common in Ripon?

They are relatively common in Ripon and are usually caused by the dissolution of thick gypsum deposits beneath the area.

After the 2014 partial house collapse, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said gypsum under the town had dissolved to form a maze-like cave system.

It said in a report that sinkholes appeared in Ripon every two or three years in the 1980s and 1990s but there had not been any reported in the seven years before the 2014 event.

The BGS said there were a number of possible triggering mechanisms, relating to action of water underground.

More on this story