Huge sinkhole threatens to swallow French pub

Authorities have said it is lucky that no-one was hurt in the incident. (GETTY)

A giant 10m-wide sinkhole has threatened to engulf a pub in northern France after opening up on Monday.

Shocking photos show part of La Bonne Humeur brasserie perching over the sinkhole, which is five metres deep.

It is not known for certain what caused the collapse, but there are theories that the hole could have been created due to a medieval cellar under the pub.

The pub perches precariously over the huge sinkhole in Amiens. (GETTY)

Initially people thought a leaking water pipe which could have weakened the sandy layers of the floor was responsible.

A spokesman for the town hall said: “Firefighters and various services of Amiens Métropole including the on-call engineer, waterworks and sanitation went to assess the situation.

“A preliminary security perimeter was installed around the excavation before access to Place Debouverie was forbidden.

“Three tenants of the building above the brewery were asked to leave their homes by firefighters and were welcomed in the lounges of the town hall.

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“As a precaution, the distribution of water and gas was cut off in the area.”

The local police first noticed that the road was unstable when they did a morning patrol on Monday, August 12.

They then alerted the residents living above the brasserie who were evacuated.

Six businesses, which include the brasserie, have been closed as a precaution.

Caroline Merle, risk assessment technician for the town, said: “The earth has now stabilised and there is no [further] risk of collapse.”

The disaster happened in Amiens, which is a city in northern France. (GETTY)

Brigitte Fouré, mayor of Amiens, said: “I am happy that no-one was injured. At another time of day - and not bang in the middle of August - we could have had a real catastrophe.”

Sinkholes are normally natural and happen when water dissolves soluble bedrock, which forms a cavity under the ground.

The loose sedimentary rock from nearer the surface level gradually falls into the hole and eventually it collapses.

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