A man is missing after a Florida sinkhole swallowed his bedroom Thursday night, according to a March 1 report on MSN.com. The very unusual story is getting a lot of attention on Friday as officials attempt to determine the best way to go about recovering the man’s body.
The family heard a crash and found that the man’s bedroom had collapsed and fallen into the sinkhole, but oddly the rest of the house was intact. There were five other people in the house who survived the event.
The man’s brother attempted to rescue him to no avail and had to be rescued himself when the emergency crews arrived. He thought he heard his brother scream for help.
"I didn't see any part of him when I went in there," he 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."
The sinkhole, located in Brandon, Fla., is estimated to be around 20 feet deep with the width at 30 feet in diameter at the top. The precarious nature of a Florida sinkhole is that the width at the bottom is larger, so the hole spreads. This particular sinkhole is thought to be around 100 feet in diameter at the bottom, and it is beginning to swallow more of the house into its depths. Neighbors nearby have been evacuated.
According to the Southwest Florida Water Management District, sinkholes are depressions or holes in the land surface that can be deep or shallow, small or large, and they occur throughout west-central Florida. They are the result of limestone that has dissolved underground. Conditions such as lack of rainfall or too much rainfall are among the contributors to sinkhole development.
MSN.com quotes the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers as saying that they did attempt to lower listening devices and cameras into the sinkhole but found no signs of life. The house is unstable so they suspended efforts on Friday, but they are trying to determine their next step. It is highly unlikely that the man is alive at this point, so this is basically now a recovery operation.