The collapse began late on Sunday (Aug. 11), when guests at the resort — located only a few miles from Walt Disney World — started to complain of loud noises and cracking windows. Some time after 10:30pm, two security guards began the evacuation of the guest rooms after windows began blowing out. Approximately 35 people were evacuated from the affected area.
Within an hour of the final evacuation, the widening sinkhole swallowed most of one building, dumping it into a 15-foot hole. While all guests were accounted for, many had to escape quickly, leaving behind their belongings. Authorities in Florida will not say whether or not guests will be able to retrieve items as the sinkhole continues to widen.
Sinkholes are common in Florida. One large sinkhole opened under a house in Feb. 2013, swallowing a sleeping man. His body was never recovered.