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Luxury Texas home dangling from cliff after land gives way

AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - A luxury $800,000 Texas home perched on a lakeside bluff was poised to plunge into the water below on Wednesday after the ground under its foundation eroded and left it precariously balanced on a decaying cliff.

The house on Lake Whitney, about 75 miles (120 miles) southwest of Dallas, is perched about 75 feet (23 meters) in the air and being circled by a local TV news helicopter waiting to record its plunge into the water below.

A massive piece of land under the house fell into the lake on Tuesday night, neighbors told local media. Video footage shows about half of the house on the ground and half in the air, with a dangling air conditioning unit tethered to the structure.

The land started to give way in February, and since then about 50 yards (meters) of territory that separated it from the water's edge has eroded, said Mark Wilson, the chief deputy for the Hill County Sheriff's Department.

The owners, who use it as a second home, have abandoned the property while people are being kept away from it on land and in the lake below.

"When they built the house, it looked like a safe area, away from the bluff. There is just a lot of the bluff that gave way," Wilson said.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Jana J. Pruet in Dallas Editing by Sandra Maler)

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