UPDATE: Sinkhole That Swallowed Florida Man 'Unstable'

By: Associated Press / ABC News Email
By: Associated Press / ABC News Email

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UPDATE: Friday, March 1, 2013

Officials say a sinkhole that swallowed a Florida man is seriously unstable and they think it will grow.

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill says no one can go into the house right now because they are afraid of losing more lives. Engineers say the soil around the house is very soft and there is a potential for another collapse.

Jeff Bush was presumed dead Friday after the earth opened up beneath his bedroom. Five other people were at the home when the bedroom floor collapsed late Thursday night, but no one else was injured.

Friday, March 1, 2013

A police spokesman in Florida says they are starting a recovery effort to find a man who was swallowed up by a sinkhole at his home.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office spokesman Larry McKinnon said Friday they asked sinkhole and engineering experts to come to the home near Tampa. The experts are using equipment to see if the ground can support the weight of heavy machinery that is needed for the recovery effort.

Jeremy Bush, who was home at the time, says he fears his brother Jeff has died. He ran into his brother's bedroom when he disappeared into the sinkhole Thursday night, but he says he could not save him.

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A man is missing after a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house near Tampa, Florida and his brother says the man screamed for help as the collapse happened.

The 34-year-old man's brother told rescue crews he heard a loud crash around 11 p.m. Thursday, then heard his brother screaming for help.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico says when the brother got there, the bedroom was gone and all he saw was part of a mattress sticking up.

There's been no contact with the man since then. Neighbors on both sides of the Brandon home have been evacuated.

Code enforcement deemed it unsafe for rescue workers to continue until engineers can determine the borders of the sinkhole. Damico says the sinkhole is estimated at about 100 feet across.


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