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16 Eerie And Heartbreaking Photos Of Detroit's Decline

Detroit became the largest U.S. city ever to seek bankruptcy protection on Thursday. This is what urban decay looks like.

Posted on July 19, 2013, at 11:36 a.m. ET

In March, a bankruptcy expert was brought in to assess Detroit's severe financial crisis.

J.D. Pooley/Stringer / Getty Images
J.D. Pooley/Stringer / Getty Images

The expert pointed to the city's overspending and mismanagement by officials as the main cause of the crisis.

J.D. Pooley/Stringer / Getty Images
J.D. Pooley/Stringer / Getty Images
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Thursday, after six months of struggling, Detroit filed for bankruptcy, making it the largest city in U.S. history to do so.

J.D. Pooley/Stringer / Getty Images
REBECCA COOK / Reuters

The city's debt could be as much as $20 billion.

REBECCA COOK / Reuters
REBECCA COOK / Reuters
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There are reportedly 78,000 abandoned structures in the city.

REBECCA COOK / Reuters
REBECCA COOK / Reuters

And the city's unemployment rate is more than double the national average, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said.

STAFF / Reuters
STAFF / Reuters
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Snyder believes bankruptcy could provide a new beginning for the city.

REBECCA COOK / Reuters
ANDRE J. JACKSON / AP

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing called Thursday a difficult day for Detroit.

Ray Stanczak / AP
Bill Pugliano / Getty Images
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