A US Marine has died after falling into a 20 m sinkhole while hunting deer in near Buckthorn in Pulaski County, Missouri, on the evening of Monday 16 September 2013. It is thought that the sinkhole opened up in August this year after heavy rains in the area, but had not been reported as it was in a heavily wooded area. It is thought that the Marine, named as 31-year-old Curtis Powelson stationed at Fort Leonard Wood was tracking a deer shot and wounded earlier in the day, when he is presumed to have fallen into the hole, which it is thought he did not see due to heavy folliage and poor light conditions. His body was found by rescuers alerted by his wife when he failed to return home at about 3.00 am on Tuesday 17 September.
The approximate location of the Pulaski County Sinkhole. Google Maps.
Sinkholes are generally caused by water eroding soft limestone or unconsolidated deposits from beneath, causing a hole that works its way upwards and eventually opening spectacularly at the surface. Where there are unconsolidated deposits at the surface they can infill from the sides, apparently swallowing objects at the surface, including people, without trace.
See also Car swallowed by sinkhole in Indianapolis, Car and occupants swallowed by sinkhole in Oklahoma City, Florida holiday villa collapses into sinkhole, Massive sinkhole opens up in Wallace County, Kansas and Six year old boy swallowed by Indiana sinkhole.
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