Mine collapse damages several homes

Homes are sinking, methane gas is seeping, and streets are buckling in Macoupin County after a mine collapse.

BENLD, Ill. -- Benld city officials say a mine subsidence caused structural damage to at least 15 homes in a neighborhood located in the southwest part of town.

A police officer noticed a bump in the road near the intersection of West Dorsey and South Illinois around 4:30 a.m. City officials soon determined it as mine subsidence.

The Benld Police Chief also stated that methane gas was leaking into at least four homes. The mayor of Benld believes the mine subsidence most likely caused the gas to leak. Ameren crews used a vapor extraction unit to get methane out of the sewer lines.

Mayor Gloria Sidar says the damaged area is four blocks from the site of the former Benld Elementary School, which was demolished and rebuilt elsewhere after a 2009 mine collapse left it unusable.

Union Pacific Railroad's predecessors were subsidiaries of a company that mined the area where the school was built. City officials say the area damaged Wednesday is located on the same old coal mine.

We reached out to Union Pacific for a comment. We're waiting on a company representative to return our phone call.

The American Red Cross is providing, food, water, and counseling to area residents. Anyone who needs assistance with pets should call City Hall at 217-835-2114.


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