Man dies after falling into large hole that opens under his house.

By | April 24, 2006

Man dies after falling into large hole that opens under his houseMany odd things about this story.

“It was like a scene from a horror film: A 27-year-old man plummeted into a gaping hole that suddenly opened beneath a house, trapping him beneath foundation rubble and killing him. Authorities say the home, built in the 1980s, may have been sitting atop a decades-old underground mine. Recent rains could have softened the ground under the home, in an isolated area near Lake Alta. … Authorities returned to the home Sunday to try and remove the man’s body, though geologists were still testing the house’s soundness. The man’s identity hadn’t been positively established.” – canoe

Sounds like a cover story from a real life scene from Hellboy. Here’s a follow up.

Authorities identified the victim as 32-year-old Jason Chellew, a schoolteacher whose wife was pregnant. Chellew was relaxing in his living room about 9:30 p.m. Friday when he heard creaking noises, sprang up and began to move across the room just as the floor opened beneath him, authorities said.

His wife was in bed and was uninjured, said Rick Armstrong, a retired Placer County sheriff’s captain who said he has known the Chellew family for decades.

This area in the Sierra Nevada foothills was heavily mined for gold in the late 1800s. A mine collapse is one likely cause of the strange episode, officials said. A team of 100 people was investigating the site Sunday, including numerous geologists.

Chellew had no pulse when rescuers reached him Friday night. … A second sinkhole opened up about 50 feet away from the house, authorities said. … Douglas Ferrier, president of the Golden Drift Historical Society, which exists to preserve the region’s mining history, said the area was part of the historic Nary Red Mine … a web of 16 different gold mining claims that operated from the 1860s to the 1940s… No maps exist … “It would not surprise me at all that there are shafts and tunnels that do not show evidence on the surface but that may be there underneath the ground,” Ferrier said. … “There may be absolutely no surface evidence that it’s there, and it could be five feet below the surface.” – AP

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