Track hoe used to fix sinkhole in Spring River in Arkansas

July 14, 2018

This July 12, 2018, photo provided by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission shows heavy equipment used to close a sinkhole that created a whirlpool last month in the Spring River near Hardy, Ark. (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission via AP)

HARDY, Ark. (AP) — Heavy equipment has been used to close a rare sinkhole that created a whirlpool last month in an Arkansas river and a kayaker was dragged to his death.

Commissioner of State Lands John Thurston on Friday announced the completed repair of the sinkhole in the Spring River. Thurston thanked government and local workers, landowners and other volunteers who helped on the site south of Mammoth Spring.

Officials say 64-year-old Donald Wright of Searcy died in the June 9 accident. Experts then evaluated the stretch of river.

A track hoe was used to collapse the travertine roof of the sinkhole. Officials say the structure then fell into itself, eliminating the water hazard blamed on erosion.

Experts say sinkholes are common in the northern half of Arkansas, where subterranean limestone easily erodes.

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