Footage captured in an Australian suburb has shown the moment a sinkhole tore through one elderly couple's garden, threatening their home and forcing them to flee.
Queensland couple Ray and Lynn McKay woke on Tuesday (August 2) to find a sinkhole filling with water in their back garden. The hole, initially one metre wide, grew to eight metres in diameter in just a few hours.
Having lived in the Brisbane suburb of Ipswich for the last 25 years the couple were terrified to see their property literally disappearing before their eyes.
"Scary, it's getting even more scarier as it gets bigger," said Lynn McKay. The back garden was cordoned off by officials as surveyors and engineering experts were called in. Shocked neighbours looked on in disbelief.
"I've lived here for near 41 years, so I've never seen anything like this before in my life," neighbour Darryl Preston told Australian Nine Network.
There are now concerns that the hole, most likely caused by an explorational mining shaft, could grow bigger. University of Queensland's Occupational Health and Safety in Mining Professor David Cliff told the Australian Broadcasting Company that water eroding the edge of the hole could create further collapse.
"The concern is that this hole could get much bigger if the water in that hole has destabilised the strata underneath the surface," he was quoted as saying. "There must be some potential for it to get bigger." Cliff added a geological inspection with specialised equipment would be needed to determine the cause of the flood.
The appearance of sinkhole is not the first time the McKay's home has been threatened. The couple lost all their possessions during floods in 2011. "We were just getting back on track. Things were going very well," Lynn McKay said.