A tunnel occupied by homeless people was recently discovered underneath Kansas city when a nearby copper mill in the area was repeatedly hit by thieves. In an effort to address the rise of crime in the city, the police cleared the tunnels on Friday and encouraged its inhabitants to seek proper shelter.

While exploring the tunnels, police found tents and blankets left behind by the homeless as well as a pile of used diapers and are consequently worried about the possibility that children also lived in the subterranean dwelling. "We're working to find out if in fact they've got kids down here because this is not a safe environment for that," said Officer Jason Cooley.

Officer Cooley said that one tunnel appeared to descend 20 to 25 feet underground and was connected to a room with bedding and candles. Describing the dwelling, Cooley said, “It was kind of in a little hill and probably four feet beneath the surface.”

Kansas city police made sure the tunnels were clear of people by sending a robot underground before destroying the dwelling from above. Volunteers from Hope Faith Ministries also helped to clear the tunnels and gave its residents information about proper accommodations. Carla Brewer, from the organization, said that, “By providing help for these people in this manner, maybe they won’t feel the need to go out and steal because they’re getting services they need to be able to live and survive.”

However, Officer Cooley believes that a lot of the subterranean dwellers who are used to living in extreme conditions will not take advantage of such services but will simply “move on to another such place.”

Here’s the KMBC report:

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