Land swallowed by massive Ipswich sink hole

Pensioners told to evacuate home as sinkhole widens

UPDATE 2PM: LYNN and Ray McKay have been told to pack their belongings and leave.

Their home in Basin Pocket is near an old mine shaft that is believed to have collapsed.

Investigators from the Department of Mines and Natural Resources are on their way, Mayor Paul Pisasale says, and the council is putting the couple up in a hotel for the night.

For Lynn and Ray it's a whirlwind they never imagined they'd experience when the small hole first appeared this morning.

Since midday the hole has grown at least two metres and is edging ever closer to the washing line.

"Please don't take my washing line," Lynn said.

"This has become quite dramatic."

Ipswich City Council is concerned for Lynn and Rays' safety and has cordoned off the property to make way for investigators who will likely start work tonight.

In the meantime, geologist Kenn Grubb says he isn't expecting the hole to grow too much bigger before stabilising.

He said if it were his project, he would let the hole settle for a few days before filling it with gravel.

"You need to use a material that will allow the water to escape - it will rise through the gravel," he said.


Sink hole swallowing pensioners' yard

EARLIER: THE backyard at  Lynn and Ray McKay's Basin Pocket home is slowly disappearing into a sink hole.

The hole appeared just after 9am and was spotted by a neighbour tending to his tomatoes who rushed next door to tell the owners.

The pensioners came outside to find the one metre hole in the middle of their yard filled with water and bits of rubbish including old glass bottles.

They immediately called the council who they say told them it wasn't a council issue.

Meanwhile, more of their lawn is falling into the hole every half an hour and closing in on the hills hoist clothesline.

At midday it was nearing six metres in diameter.

Queensland Urban Utilities arrived soon after receiving a call from the anxious pensioners.

Temporary fencing is being set up around the site while Urban Utilities waits for the council to arrive with property plans.

There is a sewer line running past the back of the property, near the sink hole, however the lack of smell suggests the water isn't sewage.

Urban Utilities has investigated and says the hole is not related to any water or sewer pipes. 

"You don't expect something like this to happen in your backyard," Lynn McKay said.

"I don't want it to take my clothes line - you can't get those anymore.

"The bigger the hole gets the more nervous I am feeling.

"Will it stop? Won't somebody do something?"

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