Who is TikTok's 'tunnel girl' and why has she been shut down?

Who is TikTok's 'tunnel girl' and why has she been shut down?
TikToker ordered to stop viral unsanctioned tunnel digging project
New York Post / VideoElephant

A TikToker has captured an audience's attention with her plans to dig an underground tunnel beneath her property.

Although home renovations always tend to make for popular content, Kala (@engineer.everything) has made a name for herself as the "tunnel girl" by sharing updates on her elaborate excavation project which has cost her $50,000 (as of November 2023).

Over the past year, Kala has dug an underground tunnel system leading to a storm shelter at her home in Virginia. Work first began in October 2022 October 2022, when she shared her plan to build a "storm shelter at the side of my basement".

Video updates showed her sporting a construction hat while drilling underground and pouring concrete. She also has a debris disposal system and an industrial-sized dumpster as she carries out the ambitious project which she later described as an "underground tunnel system" in August last year.

She has also shared videos about "mining" the ground she was excavating for precious metal.


Should I go deeper? #engineering #minecraft #secrettunnel #construction #mining #diy

Kala isn't the first to do this and the pastime is called "hobby tunneling," used to describe those (often men) who love digging tunnels - a famous example in the UK was the late civil engineer William Lyttle who dug a network of tunnels under his home in Hackney, London which eventually led to his eviction in 2006.

Meanwhile, Kala's one-year video with highlights of the project so far reached new audiences (7.7 million views) who were intrigued to learn more.

Kala has also shared that she hasn't received any formal training to carry out the construction and has been teaching herself the skills she requires to complete tasks safely.

She's faced some difficulties along way including exposed wiring and even a fire underground which led people to question whether she's putting herself and others in danger.

One person said: "I love how clearly skilled you are in engineering and fabrication but this still scares me for your safety."

"I have equal amounts of admiration and concern for you," another person wrote.

However, fans will be disappointed to learn in a recent video from Kala that the City council have shut down her project.

NBC previously reported how Kala "declined to get into specific detail about any permits she may have obtained" but added she was following local regulations for building emergency shelters.


Replying to @dogs.bestfriend Sadly yes, but we are working it out. #engineering #mining #tunnel #permits #construction

"So they did give me a stop work order and are requiring an immediate evaluation by a professional engineer," she explained.

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

This has since sparked a debate around Kala's safety as well as how the construction is affecting her neighbours.

One person said: "This is great news for your neighbours and your safety as well!"

"Why is no one speaking about how insane this whole 'project' is?" another person asked.

Someone else added: "Why would you NOT get the permits beforehand for such a massive project?"

"Imagine your house collapses because of your neighbor digging a freaking underground trench system..." a fourth person commented.

Though in her interview with NBC, Kala insisted that she has a good relationship with her neighbours, where she described their relationship as respectful and that they are “well aware of [her] crazy antics”.

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