OKLAHOMA CITY -- The government will buy out hundreds of residents whose homes are at risk of caving into mined-out areas below, and two towns could eventually cease to exist, officials said.
The $20 million buyout targets 176 homes on land where lead and zinc were once mined in the state's northeast tip.
The area is dotted with mine collapses, open mine shafts, and mountains of lead-contaminated mine waste.
Last year, the state spent about $5 million to buy out or move 55 families. US Senator James M. Inhofe said the entire site should be emptied of its 1,700 residents.