No sign of Florida sinkhole victim
Hope fades as rescue workers in Florida continue to search for a man lost in a sinkhole that consumed his bedroom.PT0M0S 620 349
Florida rescue personnel 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.
Jeremy Bush jumped into the sinkhole trying to save his brother Jeff. Photo: AP
"I really don't think they are going to be able to find him," Jeremy said. 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.
The entire house is on a sinkhole says the local sheriff. Photo: Getty/AFP
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 bedframe, the dresser, everything was sinking," he said.
Norman Wicker, 48, the father of Jeremy's fiance 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 Sunday, 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 9-metre wide sinkhole got larger but officials said 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 Sunday 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.