Business, Economics and Jobs

Florida sinkhole threatens neighbors, victim likely dead (VIDEO)


A crowd gathers at the home of Jeff Bush after he fell into a sinkhole while lying in bed March 1, 2013, in Seffner, Florida. Emergency crews were not able to reach Bush after he disappeared and now say it is a recovery mission.


Edward Linsmier

Residents had about 30 minutes to collect belongings today as emergency officials attempted to learn more about a sinkhole that swallowed a Florida man on Thursday and now threatens a nearby house.

Officials worry the sinkhole will destroy the entire house and a neighboring home Tampa after 37-year-old Jeff Bush vanished below the earth earlier this week, The Associated Press said.

"This is not your typical sinkhole," Hillsborough County administrator Mike Merrill told the AP. "This is a chasm. For that reason, we're being very deliberate."

Emergency crews said there’s little hope Bush is still alive. Engineer Bill Bracken called it a "very large, very fluid mass."

The family was evacuated after the sinkhole opened up under Bush’s bedroom and he fell inside.

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He called out for help, and his brother jumped into the hole in an attempt to rescue him, Reuters reported.

The search for Bush resumed today but rescuers with cameras and microphones couldn’t detect any signs of life.

"The hole took the entire bedroom," Douglas Duvall of the sheriff’s office told Reuters. "You could see the bedframe, the dresser, everything was sinking."

Bush’s home is now condemned, The Tampa Tribune said. Five other people escaped from the house.

Engineers are drilling core samples to determine how large the sinkhole might be.

"We were at a meeting with Hillsborough County officials last night and they told us they don't know how big it is," neighbor Rick Arey told the Trib.

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