Sinkhole swallows parts of resort villa near Disney World

Posted at 6:37 AM, Aug 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-12 07:11:48-04

(CNN) – A 60-foot-wide sinkhole formed under a resort in central Florida early Monday morning, causing one building to collapse and another to slowly sink.

Guests at the Summer Bay Resort, about 10 minutes from Walt Disney World, called for help, saying they heard loud noises and windows cracking. The estimated 35 people inside the buildings were evacuated.

Two three-story buildings are affected by the 15-foot deep crater, Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Tony Cuellar said.

Rooms as high as the third floor of one building collapsed into the sinkhole, which kept growing Monday morning.

The resort’s staff said everyone was accounted for, but one building was still falling into the sinkhole.

Florida is notorious for mammoth sinkholes. In February, a sinkhole opened beneath a suburban Tampa home, swallowing 36-year-old Jeff Bush from his bedroom. Bush’s body was never recovered.

Sinkholes often start when bedrock dissolves but the surface of the ground stays intact. The void eventually collapses.