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Exploratory well into sinkhole almost complete

Officials say they are one step closer to figuring out the cause behind the massive sinkhole that has been plaguing Assumption Parish for over a month.

State Commissioner of Conservation James Welsh said Wednesday that Texas Brine Co., the company that owns the brine cavern believed to be at fault, will be breaching the cavern Thursday afternoon.

The brine cavern is encased within the Napoleonville salt dome and Texas Brine plugged and abandoned it in 2011. The Houston-based company has been drilling an exploratory well since early August in the hope that samples taken from within the cavern can illuminate the origins of the sinkhole.

The sinkhole is at least 476 feet wide but authorities say they expect it to grow as the surrounding environment sloughs in.

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