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Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Husband 'missing after falling in gaping 25 metre deep hole which suddenly opened in his yard'

By The Siberian Times reporter
14 September 2015

Crater 'swallowed ex-cop', but no-one can find him a week later.

Anatoly and Irina Usoltsev pictured before the Victory Day parade. Picture: Odnoklassniki

The shocking disappearance of Anatoly Usoltsev, 55, has left his family bewildered and frightened. The former police major went into the yard of his home - and vanished. 

A giant hole opened up and relatives assume he fell into it during heavy rain with severe flooding. Yet no-one can find him even though the crevice has been and connected disused Stalin-era mine shafts have been extensively searched. 

The hole was caused by the collapse of disused mines below his home, say locals in Artyom, a town in Primorsky region, in the Russian Far East.

The lost man's wife Irina, 50, said: 'I feel so helpless and the authorities do not know what to do. They do not have any clear plan. He has been working for all his life for his hometown of Artyom - and they cannot help him.'

Hole in Artem


Hole in Artem


Hole in Artem


Hole in Artem


Hole in Artem


Hole in Artem

'The man did go missing. However, we can't say for sure that he fell into the pit. There is a possibility that he was swept away by groundwater.' Pictures: Ministry of Emergecies in Primorsky Krai, Alexander Khitrov

She told how he had gone into the yard close to the family home. 'We were worried, went out and saw his car parked near the house and the hole nearby. At first, I didn't connect the hole with his disappearance. ' In tears she said: 'Now I cannot even bury him. I can't do anything...'

A rescuer said: 'The man did go missing. However, we can't say for sure that he fell into the pit. There is a possibility that he was swept away by (flooding) groundwater. 

'Relatives of missing man are sure that he fell into the hole, but we do not rule out other reasons for his disappearance.'

Rescuers have pumped water out of the hole but still have not located the missing man. Experts have expressed surprise that houses were built over the old mines. 

Comments (1)

experts are always surprised. and they are the last ones to know why.....
Benedikt, Moscow,Russia
15/09/2015 12:56
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