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On their way to school Monday morning, five children got the scare of their lives. The sidewalk opened up, almost like a trap-door, dropping some of the children into a six foot hole. KSMU’s Adam Hammons has more.
On Tuesday morning workers started covering a hole in the ground that is six feet deep and almost 30 feet long. The collapsed sidewalk is near the Temple Baptist Church on 800 N. Fort avenue.
No one knows exactly why the sidewalk turned evil, but Marc Thornsberry, the director of Public Works, has his theories.
“Well I don’t think that we’ll ever know for sure why it collapsed, but I think that it is highly likely that a heavy load had gotten on this slab at some point and created some stresses on the top. Which ultimately it ended up collapsing basically under its own weight.”
Thornsberry also said that the sidewalk had a waterway under it called a culvert, and that it was built decades ago before steel reinforcement was used. He said that the city is looking into other sidewalks with culverts especially ones near schools.
None of the children suffered serious injuries. Mike Brothers, spokesperson for the city of Springfield, said one child went to the hospital and was released shortly there-after. The others were treated at the scene with bumps and bruises.
“It’s just extremely unusual just to have the weight of a few people be the last straw for this kind of a collapse.”
Right now the sidewalk is fenced off for repairs. The new sidewalk will have reinforced steel to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Thornsberry also pointed out that it is illegal to park cars or any heavy machinery on the sidewalk.
For KSMU News, I’m Adam Hammons.