Mike Merrill, county administrator for Hillsborough County, told reporters Saturday evening. "We just have not been able to locate Mr. Bush and so for that reason the rescue effort is being discontinued, at this point, it's really not possible to recover the body."
Authorities in Hillsborough County ended the search Saturday for a man now presumed dead after a sinkhole opened beneath the bedroom of his family's suburban Tampa home, swallowing him up as he slept.
The effort to recover the body of Jeff Bush had resumed earlier in the day after authorities said the hole was still expanding and the house could collapse at any time. The rescue operations were discontinued overnight because of the unknown stability of this anomaly.
As of Saturday evening, the sinkhole is said to be larger now, measuring 30 feet wide and 50 feet deep. Heavy equipment has begun entering the site for the demolition of the house, slated to begin tomorrow morning.
The neighbors in a home nearby have been removing their belongings as they have been told to evacuate their home due to the instability of the ground it sits on, according to the measurements taken by the team on the site.
This is the first time that a fatality caused by a sinkhole has been recorded in Florida. The family has lost everything and sadly, they have lost a member of their family as well.
"I ran toward my brother's bedroom because I heard my brother scream," said Jeremy Bush. "Everything was gone. My brother's bed, my brother's dresser, my brother's TV. My brother was gone."
Bush had tried to rescue his brother, by standing in the hole and digging with a shovel until police arrived and they pulled him out, saying the floor was still collapsing. Bush said that he was at chin-level depth when they got him out of it.