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TikTok’s 2024 Tunnel Girl story goes viral!

“TikTok’s ‘Tunnel Girl’ halts her underground escapade in Herndon, Va., as regulators raise concerns over potential building code violations.”

TikTok's 2024 Tunnel Girl story goes viral!

Digging into depths

Since October 2022, a TikToker known as “Kala the science girl,” under the handles @kalaengineer and @engineer.everything, has been captivating half a million followers with her audacious project in Herndon, Va. – an unauthorized tunnel system leading to a subterranean storm shelter adjacent to her basement.

The engineering behind TikTok tunnel

Kala’s TikTok videos showcase the Herculean effort involved in creating this clandestine sub-basement chamber, 22 feet below ground. The process includes cutting through concrete, mining sediment, installing an elevator shaft, and dealing with setbacks like partial collapses and fires. The venture, undertaken by the self-proclaimed office worker, incorporates elements of danger and complexity, all narrated in her unique, robotic monotone voice.

Shutting it down

In a dramatic turn of events on Dec. 28, city officials paid Kala a visit and issued a stop work order, requiring an immediate evaluation by a professional engineer. A heavily-produced clip posted by Kala detailed the encounter, dispelling rumors and expressing optimism about obtaining necessary permits and approvals for her project.

While Kala’s project may be a spectacle, concerns have been raised by her across-the-street neighbor, identified only as David. He expressed worry about the lack of safety precautions and potential impacts on neighboring properties. Although he acknowledged the noise during the day, it hadn’t reached a point to involve authorities.

Kala, donning fashionable outfits, heavy makeup, and manicured nails in her videos, remains tight-lipped. She declined to speak with a local outlet, citing the ongoing permit process as the reason for her silence. Her suburban town officials confirmed collaboration with Kala to correct any violations and ensure compliance with the Uniform Statewide Building Code, responding to concerns raised by inspectors.

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