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'Groaning' house collapses in Iowa

June 3, 2011 at 2:24 PM

CLINTON, Iowa, June 3 (UPI) -- A house in Clinton, Iowa, "creaked and groaned" when a sinkhole swallowed it, a neighbor said.

Larry Stuart was not home when his dwelling collapsed Sunday, but the property is a total loss, officials told WQAD-TV, Moline, Ill. He is staying with relatives.

Neighbor John Montieth said: "We could hear the house creaking and groaning and popping. Somebody said we better get away in case glass starts breaking, so we went across the street."

"Significant rainfall that we had Sunday morning was probably the No. 1 cause," said Michael Harmon, a local building official. "Although it looks like there could have been deficiencies in the foundation that was built about 15 years ago."

Stuart's neighbors are staging a fundraiser for him, and an emergency demolition is planned soon.

"I would not have wanted to be in that house when it came down," neighbor Karl Wolf observed.

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