Sunday, May 19, 2013
By Latin Times Staff, Mar 01, 2013 01:55 PM EST
(PHOTO CREDIT: YouTube) Sinkholes, like this one in Guatemala City, usually appear after heavy rains and can grow rapidly in a matter of days.
An enormous sinkhole suddenly formed right underneath the bedroom of 36-year-old Jeff Bush on Friday morning, swallowing his Tampa home.
Besides Jeff Bush, five other family members, four adults and a child, were in the home when the dramatic incident occurred. Brother Jeremy rushed to save Jeff but was unable to pull him out.
"I didn't see any part of him when I went in there," Jeremy Bush 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."
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First responders quickly rushed to the scene.
"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."
"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."
Despite a frantic rescue effort, authorities have not been able to contact Jeff Bush. An evacuation has also been ordered for a number of nearby homes as the sinkhole continues to grow.
According to Bill Bracken, the head of an engineering company assisting rescuers, the sinkhole is up to 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," said Bracken, mapping the path of destruction.
"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," said Fire Chief Ron Rogers.
Authorities have lowered listening devices and cameras into the hole but could not detect signs of life. A difficult situation, excessive activity will cause the erosion to further shift and collapse.