UK & World News
Sinkhole Near Disney World Topples Building
A sinkhole has caused a building in a Florida resort near Disney World to partially collapse, with another section of the building also slowly dropping.
About a third of the three-storey structure collapsed at around 3am on Monday, according to Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Tony Cuellar.
The villa at the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont had already been evacuated and no injuries were reported.
Emergency teams had arrived at the scene about 10 miles west of Disney World late on Sunday night to find the the building was making popping sounds and windows were breaking.
The sinkhole, which is in the middle of the villa, is said to be about 40 to 50ft (12m to 15m) in diameter.
The authorities think it may be getting deeper, but it is not clear if it is also growing outward.
The building houses 24 units and about 20 people were staying in it at the time. A nearby villa was also evacuated as a precaution.
Luis Perez, who was staying at a villa near the sinking one, said he was in his room when the lights went off at around 11.30pm. He said he was on his way to the front desk to report the power cut when he saw firefighters and police outside.
"I started walking toward where they were at and you could see the building leaning and you could see a big crack at the base of the building," he said.
Florida has a well-documented problem with large sinkholes. Last February, a giant pit opened underneath a house in a suburb of Tampa, swallowing up 36-year-old Jeff Bush who was in bed at the time. His body was never recovered.
But such fatalities and injuries are rare, and most sinkholes are small. They can develop quickly or slowly over time.
The state sits on limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water, with a layer of clay on top. The clay is thicker in some locations, making them even more prone to sinkholes.