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article imageVideo: Sinkhole swallows Florida resort building

By Anne Sewell     Aug 13, 2013 in Environment
Around 30 per cent of a three-story villa in a central Florida resort has collapsed into a sinkhole on Monday night. Guests were evacuated safety and fortunately no injuries were reported.
A sinkhole caused a section of a central Florida resort villa to partially collapse while at the same time, another section of the villa was sinking. In total around 30 per cent of the three-story structure collapsed.
Summer Bay Resort security guard Richard Shanley said:
"I was hearing popping noises and I was hearing people screaming and glass breaking. The building actually twisted and separated."
"It was like something from a movie."
According to Paul Caldwell, general manager of the 64-acre, lakeside resort which is near Disney World, the building collapsed almost entirely in 45 minutes. He said that only the top floor was visible on ground level and that he estimated the sinkhole to be around 100 feet wide.
Caldwell said:
"My heart sunk. I was sick to my stomach,"
"No doubt there would've been injuries if they hadn't gotten the building evacuated."
Caldwell called Shanley a hero for the way he handled the incident, as the security guard reportedly immediately rushed into the building and started banging on doors to wake people. He also used his master key to open some of the doors so that he could alert people to evacuate from the building.
Shanley was asked by the media if he felt that his life was at risk during the evacuation, to which he replied, "Yes ma'am, but I didn't think of that at the time. I was more concerned about my guests and trying to get them out of here."
According to the resort's executive vice-president, Juan Barrillas, 36 people were evacuated, which included 20 from the collapsed building and 16 from an adjacent building, the latter being as a precaution.
The American Red Cross helped to the evacuated guests and some were moved to other buildings on the property.
A guest on the resort, Liz Evans, 57, from North Carolina, watched the collapse together with her grandsons from a nearby unit. She said it was slow-moving and punctuated by creaking and cracking noises.
"It was like a rock slide coming down," Evans said.
Fortunately the unit she was staying in did not need evacuation, although power was lost.
A three-storey villa building in Summer Bay Resort near Disney World  Florida  collapsed into a sink...
A three-storey villa building in Summer Bay Resort near Disney World, Florida, collapsed into a sinkhole on Monday night.
Florida has a problem with sinkholes, causing millions of dollars in damage annually. These are apparently caused by the state's porous geological bedrock of limestone. Reportedly as acidic rainwater filters into the ground, this dissolves the rock, causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, resulting in the sinkhole's collapse.
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