Sinkhole swallows a man inside his bedroom in Seffner, Florida

Photo by JOE HENDERSON/STAFF Tampa Bay online
Photo by JOE HENDERSON/STAFF
Tampa Bay online

The report on CNN is titled, “A loud crash, and then nothing: Sinkhole swallows Florida man.”

Although there is no visible evidence of cracking on the outside of the home, the bedroom floor where Jeff Bush slept on his bed collapsed into the sinkhole.   Click on the link here for a video taken onsite by CNN.   Here’s more from the report by Michael Pearson and John Zarella for CNN:

A Florida man fell into a sinkhole that opened suddenly Thursday night beneath the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home, calling out to his brother for help as he fell, the brother said Friday.

“I heard a loud crash, like a car coming through the house,” Jeremy Bush told CNN affiliate WFTS. “I heard my brother screaming and I ran back there and tried going inside his room, but my old lady turned the light on and all I seen was this big hole, a real big hole, and all I saw was his mattress.”

Bush frantically tried to rescue his brother, Jeff Bush, by standing in the hole and digging at the rubble with a shovel until police arrived and pulled him out, saying the floor was still collapsing.

“I thought I heard him holler for me to help him,” the man tearfully told WFTS.

Jeremy Bush and four other people, including a 2-year-old child, escaped from the blue, one-story 1970s-era home in Seffner, Florida, a Tampa suburb.

Jeff Bush was presumed dead after monitoring equipment lowered by engineers detected no signs of life, said Jessica Damico, the Hillsborough County Fire Department spokeswoman.

But rescuers can’t go into the hole to check — it’s too dangerous, Fire Chief Ron Rogers told reporters Friday. Authorities say they worry the hole is still spreading and the house could collapse at any time.

The sinkhole is about 20 feet to 30 feet across and may be 30 feet deep, said Bill Bracken, president of the engineering company assisting emergency workers. The hole was originally reported to be 100 feet across, but that is the diameter of the safety zone surrounding it, Bracken said.

“It started in the bedroom, and it has been expanding outward and it’s taking the house with it as it opens up,” he said.

Nearby homes have been evacuated as a precaution, Rogers said.

Here’s more from the report about sinkholes in Hillsborough County:

Sinkholes are common in Florida, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The state lies on bedrock made of limestone or other carbonate rock that can be eaten away by acidic groundwater, forming voids that collapse when the rock can no longer support the weight of what’s above it.

Hillsborough County is part of an area known as “sinkhole alley” that accounts for two-thirds of the sinkhole-related insurance claims in the state, according to a Florida state Senate Insurance and Banking Committee report.

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One thought on “Sinkhole swallows a man inside his bedroom in Seffner, Florida

  1. The story of the Tampa man falling to his death while sleeping in his own bed (because hell opened up underneath of him and swallowed him whole) should be enough to remind everyone they should say a prayer before going to bed.

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