Sinkhole causes Central Florida resort to collapse

Families forced to evacuate villa at Summer Bay Resort in Clermont


CLERMONT, Fla. – A sinkhole has caused a building housing vacationers at a Central Florida resort to collapse.

Fire officials said that about 50 percent of the three-story villa at the Summer Bay Resort, located about 10 miles west of Disney World, collapsed around 3 a.m. Monday. The building had been evacuated earlier and no injuries have been reported.

Fire officials said the sinkhole is in the middle of the villa and is about 60 feet in diameter and at least 15 feet deep. Authorities think it's getting deeper but can't yet tell if it's growing outward.

Authorities were initially called to the resort late Sunday and found windows breaking while the building was making popping sounds.

"I was just hearing all these noises banging and people screaming.  The walkway was like this," said resort guest Alec Gobeo, motioning with his hands.   "It's about to just fall. The whole corner of the building was falling."

Firefighters quickly evacuated families staying at building 104, according to resort workers.  There were 36 guests inside the villa at that time, officials said.

"You see (sinkholes) in Florida all the time.  You just don't think it's going to happen where you are," resort guest Jeff Briank said.

Video shot by WKMG-TV shows the building slightly tilted. The exclusive video also shows multiple large cracks as well as water leaking from the building.

Video also shows parents rushing children into the street as deputies and firefighters set up a perimeter.

Families staying at the resort said some of the buildings, as well as a hotel down the road, had lost power.

The Summer Bay Resort, located on U.S. Highway 192 in Clermont just east of U.S. Highway 27, features condominiums, villas and vacation houses, according to the resort's web site.