A man has vanished under the earth, sucked in into a sinkhole that suddenly opened under his bedroom in a suburban Tampa home. Authorities warn that the sinkhole is unstable and dangerous, as it may grow further.
The hole, estimated to be 20 feet across and 20 feet deep, sucked 37-year-old Jeff Bush, along with his bed, television and dresser into the ground as it broke through the concrete floor of his bedroom late Thursday evening.
As Bush was declared dead on Friday, his brother described as he jumped in to try to save his sibling that he “heard him hollering my name to help him,” said Jeremy Bush.
“I feel in my heart he didn’t make it,” Bush told Tampa TV station WFTS. “There were six of us in the house, five got out.”
When the emergency team got to the scene “all they could see was a part of a mattress sticking out of the hole,” said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers.
County administrator Mike Merrill described the home as “seriously unstable,” warning that more lives could be lost if people continue to occupy the house, as the soil around it is very soft and the sinkhole is expected to expand.
Six people, including a 2-year-old child, were inside the house at the time of the incident.
Limestone caverns place Florida in a sinkhole prone zone. A 400-foot sinkhole near Orlando in 1981 swallowed up five sports cars, two businesses and a three-bedroom house. More than 500 sinkholes have been reported in Hillsborough County since 1954.