Just watched this on CNN. It's awful.
Florida man feared dead after sinkhole swallows him
By Saundra Amrhein | Reuters – 1 hr 50 mins ago
TAMPA, Florida (Reuters) - A 36-year-old Florida man was feared dead on Friday after a sinkhole suddenly opened beneath the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home swallowing him, police and fire officials said.
Rescuers responded to a 911 call late on Thursday after the man's family reported hearing a loud crash in the house and rushed to his bedroom.
"All they could see was a part of a mattress sticking out of the hole," said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers. "Essentially the floor of that room had opened up."
A sheriff deputy who arrived at the scene rescued the man's brother who jumped in the sinkhole and tried to rescue him. Three other adults and a child were in the house at the time the sinkhole opened up.
"I feel in my heart he didn't make it," the brother, Jeremy Bush, told Tampa TV station WFTS. "There were six of us in the house, five got out."
Bush said he thought he heard his brother scream for help.
"I didn't see any part of him when I went in there," he said. "I told my father-in-law to grab a shovel and I started digging. Then the cops showed up and pulled me out of the hole and told me the floor was still falling in."
Authorities have not been able to contact the missing man and ordered the evacuation of several nearby homes out of concern the sinkhole is continuing to grow.
Bill Bracken, the head of an engineering company assisting rescuers, said the sinkhole was as much as 30 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.
"It started in the bedroom and it has been expanding outward and it's taking the house with it as it opens up," Bracken said.
The risk of sinkholes is common in the state due to its porous geological bedrock, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection said.
As rainwater filters down it dissolves the rock causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.
Rogers said officials lowered listening devices and cameras into the hole but had so far not detected any signs of life.
Rescue efforts were suspended on Friday over concerns about the house's stability, Rogers said.
"Right now we're trying to determine what if anything we can do. This is a very difficult situation. It's beneath our feet. We can't see anything," he said.
(Additional reporting by David Adams and Tom Brown; Writing by Kevin Gray; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Kenneth Barry and Leslie Gevirtz)
Florida man swallowed in bed by sinkhole!
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- I'm starting to wonder about my house. I had to have the place leveled when I bought it and it's shifting again. There are supposedly 3 caves here on my 1 acre property. Hopefully the limestone here is stronger than whatever the ground is composed of in Florida!
Being swallowed up by the earth below might be a fitting end to my back pain...just kidding folks...I've got a lot more bingo years left in me!
- I have witnessed something like this a few years ago in Romania, a whole hill was sucked down with everything on it: houses, trees, everything. Fortunately they had some sort of sensors below the ground and the alarm was given a few hours before it actually happened so they were able to move all the people out of there.
Here is an update, the poor guy is presumed to be dead.
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- at March 02, 2013, 20:42:09
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SEFFNER, Florida (Reuters) - Florida rescue personnel on Saturday searched for a Florida man who disappeared into a sinkhole that swallowed his whole bedroom while he was asleep in his suburban Tampa home.
Jeff Bush, 36, who is presumed dead, was in bed when the other five members of the household who were getting ready for bed on Thursday night heard a loud crash and Jeff screaming.
Jeff's brother, 35-year-old Jeremy Bush, jumped into the hole and furiously kept digging to find his brother.
"I really don't think they are going to be able to find him," Jeremy said on Saturday. He "will be there forever."
A small memorial of balloons and flowers for his brother had formed near the house on Saturday morning.
"I thank the Lord for not taking my daughter and the rest of my family," he said.
Jeremy himself had to be rescued from the sinkhole by the first responder to the emergency call, Douglas Duvall of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. When Duvall entered Jeff Bush's bedroom, all he saw was a widening chasm but no sign of Jeff.
"The hole took the entire bedroom," said Duvall. "You could see the bed frame, the dresser, everything was sinking," he said.
Norman Wicker, 48, the father of Jeremy's fiancée who also lived in the house, ran to get a flashlight and shovel.
"It sounded like a car ran into the back of the house," Wicker said.
Authorities have not detected any signs of life after lowering listening devices and cameras into the hole.
"There is a very large, very fluid mass underneath this house rendering the entire house and the entire lot dangerous and unsafe," Bill Bracken, the head of an engineering company assisting fire and rescue officials, told the news conference late on Friday.
"We are still trying to determine the extent and nature of what's down there so we can best determine how to approach it and how to extricate," Bracken said.
After suspending the search overnight, it resumed at daylight on Saturday, with engineering consultants trying to determine the extent of the collapse so that a perimeter boundary can be established for setting up heavy equipment for future excavation.
Several nearby homes were evacuated in case the 30-foot (9-meter) wide sinkhole got larger but officials said Friday it only appeared to be getting deeper.
Soil samples showed that the sinkhole has compromised the ground underneath a home next door, engineers said Saturday.
The residents of that house were allowed 20 minutes in their home on Saturday to gather belongings. Firefighters and residents formed an assembly line to move items out of the house into SUVs and trucks.
Rescue officials said that in addition to soil samples, they were focusing on engineering analysis, ground penetration radar and other techniques to determine the extent of the ongoing collapse. Listening devices were being used to detect any evidence of life although Bush was presumed dead.
The Bush brothers worked together as landscapers, according to Leland Wicker, 48, one of the other residents of the house.
The risk of sinkholes is common in Florida due to the state's porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As rainwater filters down into the ground, it dissolves the rock, causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.
(Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Sandra Maler)
- It was very sad seeing the interview with the elderly grandfather who had lived in the house since 1974. Visibly upset, and shaking with emotion, he basically only said a few words. How he had lived there since 1974, that there were so many memories...things like that. A lot of the time he could not speak. The words he could not say you could read on his face. He could have spoken for days about the loss he was experiencing and it would not have said more than those few moments of seeing his loss for words.
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