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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Sinkholes for showing
how sinkholes form and how dangerous they can be.

Buried Alive

Sinkholes (2015) - 60 minutes
Sinkholes at Amazon.com

In Tampa, Florida, in February 2013, a giant hole opened up under the bedroom floor of Jeffrey Bush, swallowing him as he slept. His body was never found. Bush was a victim of a sinkhole - a growing worldwide hazard that lurks wherever limestone and other water-soluble rocks underpin the soil. When carbon dioxide in the air dissolves in rainwater, it forms a weak acid that attacks the soft rocks, riddling them with holes like Swiss cheese. Sinkholes can occur gradually when the surface subsides into bowl-shaped depressions; or suddenly, when the ground gives way - often catastrophically. Sinkholes have swallowed highways, apartment buildings, horses, camels, and even golfers with monster-size holes cracking the earth from Siberia to Louisiana.

Filled with compelling eyewitness video of dramatic collapses, and following scientists as they explore the underlying forces behind these natural disasters, NOVA travels the globe to investigate what it's like to have your world vanish beneath your feet.

6-3-21 Growing sinkhole threatens to swallow home in Mexico
A sinkhole in the Mexican state of Puebla is growing by the day - and threatening to swallow a home. It first appeared on Saturday and has since expanded to a width of around 80m (262ft).

1-8-21 Huge sinkhole appears in Italy hospital car park
A huge sinkhole has appeared in a staff car park at a hospital in Italy. The 50-metre wide hole swallowed cars and caused a power cut at the Ospedale del Mare in Naples. No-one was injured but the hospital had to rely on generators.

1-14-20 China sinkhole: Six killed as ground swallows bus
At least six people have been killed and 16 injured after an enormous sinkhole swallowed a bus and a number of pedestrians in central China. The incident occurred on Monday evening outside a hospital in Xining, the capital of Qinghai province. CCTV footage showed an explosion inside the sinkhole shortly after the bus and bystanders fell inside on Monday evening. Several deadly sinkholes have been reported in China in recent years. The footage from the latest incident shows the moment people waiting at a bus stop are forced to flee as the ground underneath the bus starts to cave in. A number of people gather to try to rescue the bus passengers, but are engulfed by the sinkhole as it suddenly widens. Sinkholes in China are often blamed on construction works and the rapid pace of development in the country. In 2018, four people were killed after a sinkhole opened up on a busy pavement in the city of Dazhou, south-west China. In 2013, a similar incident killed five people at an industrial estate in the southern city of Shenzhen.

10-12-18 Deadly sinkhole
A sinkhole opened up suddenly in a sidewalk in a commercial district of the Chinese city of Dazhou this week, sending four people plunging 30 feet to their deaths. Two victims, a recently married couple, were pulled alive from the pit but later died in the hospital; the bodies of the other two, a man and his son, were retrieved later. Authorities evacuated nearby buildings, fearing that the 100-square-foot sinkhole might expand. Sinkholes are often formed when acidic rainwater dissolves limestone or similar rock beneath the ground, leaving a void; shoddy construction planning and poor drainage can exacerbate the problem.

7-14-17 Growing' sinkhole swallows two houses in Florida
Growing' sinkhole swallows two houses in Florida
The 200ft wide sinkhole in Pasco County is expected to continue growing, according to officials.

6-29-17 Sinkhole swallows car in St Louis
Sinkhole swallows car in St Louis
The owners thought it had been towed.

5-22-17 Sinkhole opens at Trump's Florida retreat
Sinkhole opens at Trump's Florida retreat
A sinkhole has opened at President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida. The town of Palm Beach, where Mr Trump's retreat is located, tweeted a traffic alert on Monday morning about the 4ft by 4ft (1.2m) road cavity. City officials tweeted that the hole had formed "directly in front of Mar-a-Lago" and was close to a newly installed water main. City construction crews were to carry out "exploratory excavation" of site. Social media users have been poking fun at the cave-in, which comes in the middle of Mr Trump's first foreign trip as president.

11-8-16 Huge sinkhole swallows street in Fukuoka, Japan
Huge sinkhole swallows street in Fukuoka, Japan
A giant sinkhole swallowed a five-lane street in the centre of one of Japan's biggest cities on Tuesday morning. The collapse began at around 05:00 local time (20:00 GMT Monday) near Hakata Station, the busiest in Fukuoka city in the southern island of Kyushu. It began with two smaller holes that grew steadily until they formed one huge depression around 30m (98ft) wide. There were no reports of serious injuries but it disrupted power, water, gas and transport links in the area.

9-17-16 Florida sinkhole causes huge waste water leak into aquifer
Florida sinkhole causes huge waste water leak into aquifer
About 980 million litres of contaminated water have leaked into Florida's main underground source of drinking water, state officials say. The leak occurred after a huge sinkhole opened up under a phosphate fertiliser plant near Tampa, damaging the stack where waste water was stored. The water contained phosphogypsum, a slightly radioactive by-product from the production of fertiliser. The phosphate company Mosaic said the leak posed no risk to the public. It added the contaminated water had not reached private supplies and the firm was recovering it using pumps. "Groundwater moves very slowly," senior Mosaic official David Jellerson was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency. However, Jacki Lopez, Florida director of the Center for Biological Diversity, told Reuters news agency: "It's hard to trust them when they say 'Don't worry,' when they've been keeping it secret for three weeks."

8-2-16 Sinkhole swallows Australian backyard
Sinkhole swallows Australian backyard
A sinkhole filled with sloshing brown water has opened up in an Australian backyard. The large circular pit appeared behind the house of Ray and Lynn McKay in Ipswich, west of Brisbane. TV footage showed large chunks of soil slipping into the muddy water. The hole is now 8m (26ft) in diameter and the McKays have been evacuated from their home.

7-27-16 Aerial video of 'world's deepest' underwater sinkhole in South China Sea
Aerial video of 'world's deepest' underwater sinkhole in South China Sea
This stunning aerial video shows the world's deepest underwater sinkhole, according to scientists in China. Researchers studying the "blue hole" in the South China Sea reckon that it is 300 metres deep. The team says it looked at things like tidal water levels and temperature to work out the depth. Until now, the deepest known blue hole was Dean's Blue Hole, which is 202 metres deep and in the Bahamas in the Caribbean.

6-8-16 Footage shows moment Ottawa sinkhole swallows car
Footage shows moment Ottawa sinkhole swallows car
Footage from social media shows the moment a car was swallowed by a large sinkhole in Ottawa, Canada. Nearby businesses had to be evacuated after the hole opened up on a busy street.

3-31-16 Giant sinkhole opens up in Florida
Giant sinkhole opens up in Florida
Residents have been forced to leave their homes on a mobile home Park in Tarpon Springs, Florida, after a large sinkhole appeared nearby. The sinkhole is estimated to be 18m wide and 10m deep, though it has partially filled with water.

1-30-16 Giant sinkhole opens up near Oregon highway
Giant sinkhole opens up near Oregon highway
A giant sinkhole has opened up near a highway along the coast of southern Oregon. Transport department officials say the sinkhole did not swallow any vehicles, and there were no injuries.

10-2-15 How sinkholes are formed - in 60 seconds
How sinkholes are formed - in 60 seconds
Sinkholes, like the one which developed in St Albans on Thursday, are large gaping holes which suddenly appear in the ground. They are often caused by an abnormal amount of water seeping into the ground, but they are difficult to predict.

Buried Alive

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse Sinkholes for showing
how sinkholes form and how dangerous they can be.