A 36-year-old man in Brandon, a suburb of Tampa, is trapped in the rubble of a sinkhole that collapsed in his bedroom around 11 p.m. last night. The victim, Jeff Bush, is presumed dead.
"It's not confirmed, but I think it’s safe to presume," said Hillsborough County Fire Department spokesperson Jessica Damico.
Bush’s brother says he woke to screams last night and found Bush in the collapsing hole.
"When he got there, there was no bedroom left," Damico said. "There was no furniture. All he saw was a piece of the mattress sticking up."
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He tried to pull Bush out of the hole, but could not and immediately called 911. Duputy Duval, the first Hillsborough County Sheriff on the scene, was able to pull the brother from the still collapsing hole, but Bush was still inside. They have not heard any sounds from him since that time.
Sound equipment was brought to the scene to see if officials could detect Bush, but the only sounds they heard is the moving sand and debris as the hole continues to actively sink. It is unsafe for rescue crews to search for Bush while the sinkhole expands.
Using radar, engineers determined that the hole is about 100 feet in diameter. The ground on top of the cavity is mostly intact, but it could buckle causing the entire house to be sucked in and possibly neighboring homes as well.
Damico says the hole occurred naturally and is not man-made. Sinkholes are land depressions that occur throughout west-central Florida as a result of the dissolving of underlying limestone deposits. Weather conditions like lack of rainfall, excessive rainfall in a short period, or lowered water levels can all contribute to the formation of a sinkhole.
Five adults and one two-year-old were in the house, when the sinkhole opened. They described the sound it made was like a car crash. Bush’s bedroom was located directly in the center of the hole.
Source: USA Today