150-meter sinkhole at Inskip Point, Queensland. Photo: Kieren Hudson
Last night, a sinkhole nearly twice the size of an American football field has swallowed several vehicles at Inskip Point, Queensland, a popular camping spot near Rainbow Beach. The sinkhole swallowed a car, caravan, and a camper trailer, while 140 people were evacuated from the beachside campsite. Strangely enough, this is the second sinkhole that has occurred at Inskip Point in the last four years. No injuries have been reported, but rangers are warning people to stay away in case the sinkhole expands.
Camper Casey Hughes told ABC the sinkhole “sounded like a thunder noise” as it opened up. Another camper, Sylvia Murray, said, “It was amazing to see. People were basically on the edge of it with their van, trying to madly get their vans out.”
Police and State Emergency Service crews quickly arrived on the scene, helping those in the immediate area to safety. One woman was reported running and screaming through nearby campsites, banging on caravans and yelling for people to get out.
Gympie Mayor Mick Curran told ABC that the sinkhole did not pose a threat to holidaymakers.
“Certainly being the school holidays at the moment, there’s quite a number of campers at Inskip,” he said. “Thankfully at this stage, everyone has been accounted for and there’s been no reported injuries.”
Senior ranger Dan Clifton said there’ a possibility the sinkhole could get bigger. “There is a real possibility the hole could expand with ocean currents, so people are urged to avoid the area.”
Rangers and police have erected traffic barriers and warnings signs to advise beachgoers of potential risks.