Tuesday 25 November 2014

Melbourne woman swallowd by 3 m sinkhole.

A woman had to be rescued by firefighters after being swallowed by a sinkhole while hanging out washing in her garden on Tuesday 25 November 2014. Christina Beaumont fell into the hole at about 11.30 am local time in the Springvale South area of the city, and had to tread water until the rescuers arived at 12.30, allerted by a neighbour who had heard her cries for help. The whole was less than a meter wide, but around three meters deep and flooded in its bottom part, while sediment continued to fall from the sides of the hole onto Ms Beaumont, who is being treated for shock.

The sinkhole on the property at Springvale South, Melbourne. News.com.

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. Potash, a potassium salt, is readily soluble and can be dissolved quickly if water gains access to deposits, leading to the rapid formation of sinkholes.

On this occasion investigators from Greater Dandenong City Council have determined that the sinkhole occured at the site of an old well on the property, which had been improperly sealed off.

See also...

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