• Summer Bay Resort guests recount escaping from sinkhole


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - The sinkhole that swallowed up part of a Summer Bay Resort in Lake County has stopped growing, officials said Tuesday.

    The experience was terrifying for families who had only minutes to escape the collapsing building. Eyewitness News spoke with families who were understandably shaken up.

    Everyone was able to get out in time and no one was hurt, despite the extensive damage.

    Guests said they could hear windows breaking and see cracks forming in the building as they tried to get out of the sinking building.

    Many of them started tossing their luggage over their balconies.

    It was only minutes before hairline cracks split the building into pieces.

    Julian Moreno said he was visiting Florida for the first time from San Antonio. A security guard banged on his door at 11 p.m. Sunday and told him he had two minutes to get out.

    "The center balcony, (there was) a lot of noise like popcorn and (banging), like a sledgehammer hitting a concrete block," Moreno said.

    Moreno said he threw his family's luggage over the third floor balcony.

    Moreno managed to get back inside to grab his grandson's nebulizer in case the boy had an asthma attack.

    "That door panel, I had to literally force it," Moreno said.

    Another guest, Maggie Ghamry, spoke with Eyewitness News early Monday morning and said she thought the cracking sounds were from a fight at first.

    "I heard a window break and a lot of banging and my first instinct was to get out," Ghamry said.

    Ghamry made it out with her three toddlers but like many others, lost everything else.

    "One woman was sitting in the tub, and the tub levitated and she grabbed a pair of shorts and came out with nothing," Ghamry said.

    The 72 units in the collapsed building and the two beside it were evacuated just before the building came crumbling down.

    Authorities said people only had about a half hour to get out between the noises and the actual collapse.

    People Eyewitness News spoke with said they were in such a state of panic, they had no sense of time as they ran to escape.

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    Summer Bay Resort guests recount escaping from sinkhole