A sinkhole swallows a woman in her own backyard, sucking her 10 feet underground until a neighbor at least heard her cries for help. Melissa Beaumont of Australia says she was outside doing her morning laundry when she suddenly fell into the earth, and was forced to tread water for a time until rescuers arrived. Sky News reveals this Tuesday, November 25, 2014, that although this sinkhole was isolated and relatively small in size, it was deep enough for her head to be underwater at one point.
They can devour buildings and make cars disappear; sinkholes are capable of swallowing almost anything. This week in strange news, a sinkhole “struck” again in the backyard of an Australian woman’s home in Melbourne. Melissa Beaumont shares this week that while her mother was away visiting an old friend, she suddenly fell into a deep hole while putting shirts on a clothesline to dry.
According to an emergency rescue team who later helped get Ms. Beaumont out, the sinkhole was likely caused from an old well that was never properly filled. It was roughly 10 feet deep and full of cold water. Almost a half hour had passed before the Melissa’s cries for help were finally heard by a neighbor, who quickly called for assistance.
Stephanie Palamberis, an Australian paramedic that helped the woman swallowed by a sinkhole out of her harrowing predicament, says she quite literally fell into a small pit of water. United Press International News adds that the woman needed to swim to stay afloat, so her being saved in a timely manner was essential.
“At one stage her head was under the water,” the ambulance paramedic shared to Age News source. “The woman told us she couldn’t touch the bottom of the hole, so was trying to swim and stay afloat to avoid the risk of further mud collapse.”
Fortunately, Ms. Beaumont was said by a fire authority spokesperson to be in good condition and did not suffer any injuries from the sudden fall into the earth. She was understandably shaken after finding herself 10 feet in the ground and up to her neck in the sinkhole’s water, however. Melissa’s mother was said to also require medical attention after coming home and learning the frightening news; she has been taken to a hospital for shock.
Do Australian people (or those in the U.S., for that matter) need to fear a sinkhole swallowing them anytime soon in light of this strange news story? Fortunately not likely, as a city council official said this was an isolated incident. “It was an isolated incident on that particular property,” the spokeswoman noted. The area of the former well in the backyard is being filled and covered this week so that no one else will fall into the treacherous pit.