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Pensioners find sinkhole in backyard

AAP logoAAP 2/08/2016 By Darren Cartwright

An elderly couple should not fear their house, west of Brisbane, will be swallowed by a sinkhole after their backyard started to cave in down a century-old mine shaft.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale has assured owners Lyn and Ray McKay their house will not disappear overnight and engineers are confident of fixing the "sinkhole" which is some six to eight metres in diameter and full of water.

"It will get worse for the next couple of hours. It's an exploratory shaft that goes down about 100 metres and there's no need to panic about a neighbourhood falling in, and we will take all the steps to get Lyn and Ray back in their house," Mr Pisasale told AAP.

Mr Pisasale visited the Coal St home in Basin Pocket on Tuesday where he met with local engineers as well as Lyn and Reg McKay.

The couple has been given temporary accommodation for the evening while engineers wait for the sinkhole to stabilise.

The Nine Network has released aerial footage of the backyard sinkhole caving in as water gushes from side to side.

"It's an exploratory shaft that was put in anywhere between 1903 and 1920," Mr Pisasale said.

"You can see this shaft was full up with rubbish and bottles and whoever did it (filled it), didn't follow very good practices.

"We will take all the steps to get Lyn and Ray back in their house. It's the mines department's responsibility."

He said this is an old part of Ipswich and the mine was about 40 metres from where it had been originally marked on the council's town planning maps.

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