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Fox News
Fox News
4 Jan 2024


Virginia residents and social media users are reacting after a woman who had been digging a massive tunnel beneath her home for over a year was ordered by town officials to halt the viral project.

"Kala," the supposed name of the homeowner and creator of the TikTok account @engineer.everything, garnered 7.7 million views after she documented the underground construction process.

On Oct. 23, 2022, Kala shared with her 537,000 followers that she was taking on "a new and complex project" and "planning to construct a storm shelter" off the side of her basement, according to a TikTok video posted at the time.

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Using hundreds of concrete blocks and hand-mixed concrete, she started to build a 30-foot entrance to her tunnel, she revealed in the video.

The main chamber is 22 feet underground and is mostly made up of rebar latticework and a steel form to pour the concrete — as Kala, who does not disclose her surname online, noted on TikTok.

1 year recap of tunnel

A Virginia woman, "Kala," has gone viral on TikTok for documenting the one-year construction process of building an underground tunnel beneath her home. (Courtesy: engineer.everything/ Tiktok)

Those who followed the viral journey online — some who claim to be nearby residents — commented about their concerns about the safety and legality of the project while construction was still underway.

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"It’s kind of crazy. Kind of funny, not going to lie. But definitely I have some concerns with whatever she is doing and like, the area around us is soil and whatnot. Just making sure she’s not damaging the properties around," one woman, who apparently lives in Kala's area, wrote in one of several Reddit threads that are dedicated to the viral project.

"My main question is, how far is she going? Is she still on her property, or is she tunneling under her neighbors' property, or affecting drainage or anything in the area?" one user wrote. 

"I really just wanna know how she's funding this," another person commented.

VIRGINIA OFFICIALS SHUT DOWN VIRAL TIKTOKER'S TUNNEL PROJECT

In her most recent video, Kala shared that her construction project has been shut down.

"They did give me a stop work order and are requiring an immediate evaluation by a professional engineer," she said in the video. 

"Fortunately, contrary to rumors here, it is constructed entirely below the slab of my house, and it shouldn't be too hard to get the permits and approval."

concrete blocks and concrete

The main chamber is 22 feet below ground and is made of hundreds of concrete blocks and hand-mixed concrete. (Courtesy: engineer.everything/TikTok)

The town of Herndon reached out to "Tunnel Girl" after it received a possible violation notice.

"The Town of Herndon received notice that activity in potential violation of the Uniform Statewide Building Code (USBC) was occurring at a residential property within the town’s corporate limit," a representative from Herndon told Fox News Digital in an email.

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"As is standard protocol following such notifications, representatives from the building official’s and zoning administrator’s offices conducted a site inspection on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023."

"The town is working with the property owner to correct any violations and ensure that the property is safe and in compliance with the code," the town spokesperson added.

More people on social media, who also claim to be neighborhood residents, have shared their thoughts on Reddit about the recent shutdown of Kala's tunnel project.

tunnel dig after one year

A woman's tunneling project has been shut down after the town received a violation notice. The property will now require a site inspection. (Courtesy: engineer.everything/TikTok)

"While it absolutely looks unsafe, it looks much better than I was expecting based on first hearing about it," one user wrote. 

"Is she going to have to go to the town meetings to get approval? That little town hall room will be packed!" another person commented.

"Had no idea she was close to me," one user wrote. 

This same person added, "Lady has been digging under house, like, way under — has a whole mining operation set up."

A neighbor spoke with FOX 5 DC and said he noticed construction had been going on for several months.

"If [I] remember correctly, maybe last summer, I just started hearing like … not rock blasts … but just loud noises and some dude was, like, digging dirt out," he said.

VA underground tunnel split

The homeowner is allegedly waiting for a permit to be processed so that she can continue construction on her underground tunnel. The Town of Herndon told Fox News Digital that "representatives from the building official’s and zoning administrator’s offices conducted a site inspection on Thursday, December 7, 2023." (Courtesy: engineer.everything/TikTok)

FOX 5 DC reported that it had received a tip about the location of the home. 

Reporters spoke in person with a local woman who confirmed that Kala did live in the nearby house, but Kala was not home at the time.

Fox News Digital reached out to Kala via TikTok.

FOX 5 DC also reached out to Kala, but she declined to comment further until her permit process has been completed, the station reported.

For more Lifestyle articles, visit www.foxnews.com/lifestyle.

Sydney Borchers is a lifestyle production assistant with Fox News Digital.