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Sinkhole swallows prospective student tour group on Abele Quad, new fence goes up

DURHAM, N.C.—Prospective students got an exclusive look at Duke’s ground(s) after a sinkhole on Abele Quad swallowed them whole. The administration declined to comment on the incident, while a few survivors bravely stepped up to tell their stories.

“I had just started describing how efficient the C-1 is, and then the ground just opened up,” said Trinity junior Mackenzie Allen, who was leading the tour. “We were down there for two, maybe three hours before anyone noticed us. At one point I almost ran out of cheery things to say about Duke!”

Josh Blanden, a high school senior, said the incident gave him something “awesome” to write about in his application essay. “I can literally say that Duke taught me to dig myself out of holes, so I’ll definitely get in. And not only because my parents are threatening to sue.”

Rescuers managed to retrieve the entire tour group without any injuries, but only after a Duke student finally looked up from their phone and saw the sinkhole. A brief investigation, prompted by the complaints of a prominent Duke donor annoyed about audible cries for help, determined that sporadic trench-digging across the quad had created the faulty foundation. 

The construction team threw up new fences in haphazard circles on the grass in an attempt to prevent further disasters. Later that day, an unrelated PR campaign celebrated the university’s “commitment to modernization” and student’s willingness to “get their hands dirty.”



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