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Part of Australian landmark erodes into ocean



Published: Sat, July 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



SYDNEY, Australia (AP) -- One of Australia's Apostles has disappeared.

One of nine limestone stacks that made up the famous landmark off Australia's surf-pounded southern coast collapsed into the Indian Ocean on July 3, apparently a victim of normal coastal erosion, leaving only eight stacks for tourists to gaze at.

Even though there were only nine of the towering limestone outcrops off the coast of Victoria State, the formation was called the 12 Apostles.

The stacks, close to the scenic Great Ocean Road, which winds along the coast of Victoria state, drew tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Local park ranger Alex Green said a family of sightseers watched in amazement as the 150-foot tower collapsed.

"They said it sort of shimmered or shuddered and then fractured and collapsed straight down on itself -- it was almost like a building demolition," he said.

"All that remains now is quite a substantial pile of rubble about [33 feet] above sea level."




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