A Florida sinkhole that was as much as 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep appears to have claimed the life of a 36-year-old man who was swallowed up by the sinkhole in the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home. As of Friday, rescue efforts for the Florida man had to be suspended because of concerns about the expansion of the sinkhole and the stability of the house, reports the Chicago Tribune on March 1, 2013.
“Bill Bracken, the head of an engineering company assisting rescuers, said the sinkhole was as much as 30 feet (9 meters) in diameter and 20 feet (6 meters) deep.”
Fox13 reports in a video published on March 1, 2013, that the Florida sinkhole is 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep.
Because of the instability of the area surrounding the Florida sinkhole, several homes near the sinkhole have also been evacuated.
Bill Bracken commented that the sinkhole began in the bedroom of the Florida man’s home and as it is expanding outward, it is taking the house with it.
Late on Thursday, the Florida man’s family heard a loud crash in the house and ran to his bedroom. According to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers, “All they could see was a part of a mattress sticking out of the hole. … Essentially the floor of that room had opened up.”
After the family called 911, police and fire officials arrived at the Florida home. A sheriff deputy was able to rescue Jeremy Bush, the man’s brother who had jumped into the sinkhole in an attempt to rescue his 36-year-old brother. However, Jeremy fears the worst.
“’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’.”
Jeremy thought that he heard his brother scream for help so he began digging. Since the sinkhole continued to expand, however, and the earth was still falling, police officers had to pull out Jeremy.
So far, even though authorities have lowered listening devices and cameras into the Florida sinkhole, no signs of life have been seen or heard of the 36-year-old Florida man.