Ballpark sinkhole cancels Rangers batting practice

Ballpark sinkhole, caused by a busted pipe, created 3-foot deep sinkhole at Rangers Ballpark. In Florida, a Bob Evans restaurant was threatened by a sinkhole.

(AP Photo/LM Otero)
The grounds crew works to repair a sinkhole next to the pitcher's mound made by a busted pipe under the infield before the baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers Tuesday, June 11, 2013, in Arlington, Texas.

There was a sinking feeling behind the pitcher's mound at Rangers Ballpark.

A busted pipe under the infield at Rangers Ballpark created a sinkhole right behind the mound. On-field batting practice Tuesday for both the Texas Rangers and Cleveland Indians was canceled so the grounds crew could fix the problem.

The hole was three feet deep. But the sinkhole was fixed before the game Tuesday night. The Rangers went on to lose against the Indians by a score of 2-5.

In other sinkhole news, a Bob Evans restaurant in Florida was evacuated Sunday after employees discovered cracks that could be evidence of a sinkhole in the same town where a man disappeared in February after a sinkhole opened beneath his home.

Workers spotted the cracks on the restaurant's outside walls as they arrived at about 6 a.m., Hillsborough County Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Nacole Revette said. There were similar cracks inside and on the entrance floor. The ground near a handicap parking spot also appeared to be sloping.

The employees notified their manager, who alerted authorities.

County engineers were working throughout the afternoon to determine the cause of the cracks. Revette noted the restaurant is near a retention pond and said the heavy rains from Tropical Storm Andrea earlier in the week may have caused the ground to become inundated with water, compromising the structure.

She said authorities were also looking to see if a sinkhole could be responsible, though there was no visible hole.

The restaurant is in Seffner, about 14 miles east of Tampa. It is four miles from the site where a giant sinkhole opened beneath a home, killing one man, in February. His body was never recovered. Engineering experts determined it was too dangerous to retrieve his remains, so they demolished the home and filled it with gravel.

Wet weather is known to trigger sinkholes. Acidic rain can cause the limestone and natural caverns lying under much of the state to deteriorate, causing sinkholes.

And in Cape Girardeau, Mo, two new sinkholes are creating what city leaders call a "very dangerous" situation.

The Southeast Missourian reports that the sinkholes are on busy South Sprigg Street, near LaCroix Creek. One is causing creek water to flood into a quarry.

One sinkhole is about 50 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep. The other near the end of a creek bridge is about 25 feet in diameter and 6-8 feet deep — and growing.

City employees are monitoring the bridge and public works director Tim Gramling said the public should avoid the area.

"It's very dangerous, it's very unpredictable," Gramling said. "It's just not a place for people to be walking around, unless they're emergency workers."

Thirty-three sinkholes have emerged in the same area of Cape Girardeau since 2007, including 18 new ones in the past two months.

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