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Australian woman swallowed by sinkhole while hanging up laundry

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 4:12 PM - An Australian woman had to be rescued by firefighters after she was swallowed by a sinkhole while hanging up laundry in her backyard Tuesday.

Christina Beaumont, 52, had to tread water for twenty minutes when the three-metre hole opened up under her feet, submerged her in water.

A neighbour heard her cries for help and contacted firefighters who rescued her with ropes.

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"At one stage her head was under the water," paramedic Stephanie Palamberis told ABC News.

"The woman told us she couldn't touch the bottom of the hole, so was trying to swim and stay afloat to avoid the risk of further mud collapse."

The mother-of-six initially said she was fine but collapsed hours later in her home, likely due to shock.

Beaumont was taken to the hospital for testing and is expected to make a full recovery.

Local media reports suggest the sinkhole formed on top of an old well that had not been properly filled in.


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