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Condos collapse into sinkhole near Disney World

By on August 12, 2013
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Engineers on Monday were trying to determine the extent of the damage after luxury resort condominiums crumbled into a massive sinkhole a few miles from of Disney World.

Dozens of guests at the Summer Bay Resort in Clermont, Fla., had only 10 to 15 minutes to escape the cracking, collapsing building, the Orlando Sentinel reports. No injuries were reported, but many fleeing guests left behind all their belongings — including medications.

About 30% of the three-story structure collapsed early Monday, Lake County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Tony Cuellar said. The villa at the Summer Bay Resort had already been evacuated and no injuries were reported.

“My heart sunk. I was sick to my stomach,” resort president Paul Caldwell told theSentinel after getting a call about 10:30 p.m. Sunday that the 15-year-old building full of guests was splintering. “No doubt there would’ve been injuries if they hadn’t gotten the building evacuated.”

The sinkhole is about 50 feet in diameter and 15 feet deep. Firefighters went door-to-door of building 104, a three-story building of garden-style apartments, to help guests escape from the splintering and cracked building frame.

Security guard Richard Shanley told the Sentinel he ran through the building waking up guests.

“While you are running by, pieces of the building are falling down behind you,” he said. “So you just do what you can and get out. ”

He said guests were afraid that the building might cave in with people inside.

“Kids were crying. They were saying, ‘We don’t want to get trapped here. Mommy, we’re on vacation. We’re here to have fun. This is not what we expected. We don’t want to get trapped here,’” Shanley told the newspaper.

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