County inspecting potential sinkhole after woman is trapped - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

County inspecting potential sinkhole after woman is trapped

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On Friday, inspectors and the fire marshal were at the home of a woman living in Henrico's West End. She's dealing with a growing problem.

She's dealing with a potential sinkhole. NBC12 was the first to show you the hole on Thursday

Now inspectors are at the house trying to figure what caused this damage, especially after a woman was hurt while checking out the hole.

"It was pulling me in, the hole kept getting smaller and smaller," said Tammy Young as she recalled the moments she found herself trapped head first. "It was like something was [tugging] at me."

Tammy and her father wanted to see if the hole connected to the house, so when they looked inside, that's when she found herself trapped.

Fire crews rescued her and notified the county's building inspections office, but inspectors and the fire marshal say they're hesitant to classify this as an actual sinkhole.

"We see an opportunity here to come out and identify what the problem may be and provide some guidance and direction," said Gregory Revels, a Henrico County building official.

County officials say this wasn't caused by pipes. An old coal mine shaft was another option, but they say this area didn't have them. They also say it could have been caused by a tree left to rot here years ago.

The answer to the cause has them stumped. 

"So until that hole is actually further exposed, we're at a loss at this point," said Revels.

Because this is on the private property, the county can offer guidance but can't fix it. Now Tammy and her father must find the money for the repairs.

"My dad he doesn't have that much money and he's on social security and I just hope and pray somebody out there hears us," she said.

If you think you have a problem similar to this one the county tells us it's always a good idea to call the building inspections office at 501-4360.

Building inspectors say they checked out the rest of the property and it doesn't appear this hole caused any damage to the house.

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