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Rescuers Unable to Save Second Horse From Florida Sinkhole

November 16, 2002|From Associated Press

SANFORD, Fla. — A 50-foot-wide, 30-foot-deep sinkhole destroyed a barn, killing two horses despite rescuers' desperate efforts to save the second one early Friday.

Bob Bonwit, who had returned home from his nursing job Thursday night, was walking to his barn to feed carrots to his horses when he discovered that a sinkhole had engulfed the barn.

The horses were at the bottom of the pit, which was rapidly filling with ground water. By the time Seminole County sheriff's officials and other fire-rescue personnel had arrived, the 17-year-old horse, Jack, had drowned. The other horse, 13-year-old Magic, was perched atop the dead horse, barely keeping his nose above water.

Workers placed a harness around Magic and tried to lift him out of the hole, but his back legs were stuck in the mud. He died from internal injuries.

"Their horses were their family," family friend Michelle Grossman said. "They would rather have had their house go than their horses."

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