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article imageMassive sinkhole in Australia swallows cars, entire campsite

By Marcus Hondro     Sep 27, 2015 in Environment
A sinkhole in Queensland, Australia has swallowed an entire campsite. The phenomena started in the night and sleeping campers had to wake up quickly and scramble for safety. There were no fatalities.
Sinkhole in Queensland
The ground opened up at the MV Beagle campsite at Inskip Point near the town of Rainbow Beach. It is the second time the area has been the scene of a sinkhole, the last time it was a smaller one in 2011. This sinkhole wound up being about 100 meters (328 feet or 110 yards) by 100 meters and it sucked down anything in its path.
It began at about 11 in the evening local time when many of the 140 campers were asleep in tents. Camper Casey Hughes told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that initially it "sounded like a thunder noise." It is believed all the campers made it safely out of the danger area but any possessions left behind did not as the ground opened up and swallowed them.
Water saved lives
Because the sinkhole opened upon a beach as the ground opened up water rushed in. That sound alerted those in tents asleep that something was amiss. It likely saved the lives of campers, including Darren Chilton, who got out of his tent in time to watch his $150,000 camper and his car get sucked into the earth.
"It was just eroding before our eyes, it was just falling away," Chilton told the Daily Mail. "The water was way back there around 10 or 15 meters away. Then there was just mayhem with people trying to get stuff out."
Many of those who were a part of the ordeal posted on Facebook that they were lucky to be alive. "OMG still can't believe we got out, very scary," Janette Michele Turner wrote.
A local park ranger told media that there is "a real possibility the hole could expand with ocean currents, so people are urged to avoid the area,"
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