‘They’ve never seen anything like this.’ Multiple agencies investigating Detroit underground issue

Posted at 3:46 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-14 09:15:45-04

(WXYZ) — The building at the center of underground issues that has multiple agencies investigating will likely be demolished in the coming days.

The City of Detroit and utility officials held a press conference Monday to provide an update after a cannabis dispensary in southwest Detroit started to shift, a portion of it collapsing.


The Department of Public Works says streets bordering W. Fort at Miller, W. Fort at Woodmere, Dearborn at Riverside, and Dearborn at Stone are closed until further notice.

Officials say there is no indication that the incident was caused by natural gas, and that DTE Energy crews are now working on getting a natural gas leak stopped off in the area.

Once that is complete along with other utilities disconnected, officials say they will begin demolishing the building.

Officials say no residents have had disruptions to their utilities and the water is safe. They added it's mostly an industrial site.

On Saturday throughout day, the business owner noticed structural issues and then began to smell gas before water started coming into the basement and the ground began to swell slowly.

"There was no explosion here, there was a slow growth of something that happened underneath," said Hakim Berry, Chief Operating Officer for the City of Detroit.

Luckily, all the employees inside were able to get out in time and no one was hurt.

"I thought we were having an earthquake, to be honest," said Mario Seman, owner of Stash Detroit.

Multiple agencies are now working together to investigate the cause. Once the scene is secured, the investigation into what happened will be a joint effort between the city of Detroit, the Great Lakes Water Authority, DTE and the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

“They’ve never seen anything like this,” said Berry, speaking about experts initially trying to understand what happened.