Vent wells being drilled for trapped gas near sinkhole

BAYOU CORNE (AP) — The emergency preparedness director for Assumption Parish says wells are being dug to vent and investigate

natural gas trapped beneath a community near a 4-acre sinkhole.

An unknown amount of gas is trapped below Bayou Corne. The water-bearing sands are under a layer of clay. John Boudreaux told The Advocate  there are worries the gas might build up pressure under that clay.

He says contractors began driving casing on

Saturday for three vent wells to get a better idea about what is

happening underground.

He said crews also have begun installing underground devices called geoprobes to monitor gas levels.

Bayou Corne's 150 households have been

evacuated since the sinkhole appeared Aug. 3. It is just off the edge of

the Napoleonville

Dome, a 1-mile-by-3-mile underground salt deposit.