Sinkhole Ballpark: Watch Epic Shock At Ranger’s Ballpark When Ground Behind Pitcher’s Mound Caves [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on June 12, 2013 10:44 AM EDT

sinkhole ballpark
A sinkhole at a ballpark in Texas caused a panic after the ground behind the pitcher’s mound caved in – and just hours before the big game. (Photo: YouTube/Screenshot)

A sinkhole at the Texas Rangers Ballpark, like a giant dimple in the middle of the field, forced the team to cancel batting practice on Tuesday afternoon just hours before the baseball game. Repair workers located a busted pipe as the cause of the ballpark sinkhole that encroached on the players' warm up routine.

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On Tuesday, the Texas Rangers were slated to play the Cleveland Indians when a pipe under the field burst and caused a sinkhole at the ballpark. According to AP, a broken pipe under the infield used to water the grass created a sinkhole smack dab in the center of the ballpark, directly behind the pitcher's mound. Workers dug a 3-foot-deep hole into the earth to fix the busted piping and patched up the hole with grass.

According to the Examiner, both teams used the indoor batting cages at the stadium to warm up while the workers repaired the sinkhole in the ballpark. Luckily, the repair crew was able to mend the sinkhole in the ballpark just in the nick of time before the big game.

Watch footage, uploaded to YouTube, of the crew at the Texas Rangers Ballpark as they mend the broken field after a sinkhole in the ballpark put a large dent in the earth right behind the pitcher's mound:

Sinkholes, like the one at the ballpark in Texas, are not uncommon in the U.S. According to Science Daily, about 20 percent of the entire U.S. land area is susceptible to sinkholes, with a high proportion of sinkholes occurring in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Tennessee. Earlier this month, a sinkhole in Florida measuring 40 feet deep by 50 feet wide drained a woman's backyard swimming pool and threatened to swallow the surrounding homes' yards as well.

Sinkholes typically form in areas called karst terrain, which is a type of rock below the land surface that is easily dissolved by groundwater. This creates empty pockets underneath the earth's surface that can eventually collapse, taking down anything and everything that might be above it.

Man-made sinkholes, like the sinkhole at the ballpark in Texas on Tuesday, are caused by certain land-use practices, most notably water-pumping and construction. Abandoned septic tanks, collapsed mines and even decaying tree roots can all be catalysts for sinkhole formation.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, sinkholes can be as small as just a few feet wide to over hundreds of acres across, and can be as shallow as 1-foot-deep to more than 100-feet-deep. Some have vertical walls that extend vertically deep into the earth; others look like shallow bowls or saucers.

Most sinkholes form slowly over time, but on occasion, surprise sinkholes, like the one that occurred Tuesday at the Texas Ranger's ballpark, form from sudden collapses.

Read more from iScience Times:

Florida Sinkhole Swallows Swimming Pool, Residents Evacuate

China Sinkhole: How Big Was The Massive Sinkhole That Killed 5 Factory Workers In Shenzhen?

New Jersey Sinkhole: Forklift Operator Swallowed By Huge 10-Foot Hole

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