Strange tunnel opens under Lubbock yard

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Associated Press

Posted on September 8, 2013 at 9:32 PM

LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — A strange tunnel has been found under the yard of a home and Texas Tech University historians will try to figure out the function of the space.

The homeowner wasn't sure what happened Sept. 2 when his sprinkler disappeared as the lawn was being watered, KCBD-TV reports.

Lee Smithwick says a hole about 3-feet across formed in the lawn. The sprinkler ended up in the tunnel that collapsed.

"They thought it was a cesspool or something along those lines and then they thought it was a root cellar, but it turns out it was actually a tunnel," Smithwick said.

Officials with the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University were summoned.

"Well, it was a hole in the ground. It looks like I had seen sinkholes before and it was a sinkhole but when I got a little closer, we noticed there were beams in it," said Scott White, center curator. "It was a complete surprise and has kind of been an interesting mystery."

Officials believe the tunnel was built after 1909 because railroad ties were used in the construction. That's also when a railroad line arrived in Lubbock from Plainview.

Eventually the city and the homeowner will likely fill the tunnel for safety reasons, according to KCDB.

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Online:

http://nrhc.ttu.edu/

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Information from: KCBD-TV, http://www.kcbd.com

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