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Sinkhole Swallows Man: Home Being Demolished
Crews have been demolishing a house where a man was presumed dead after being swallowed up by a sinkhole that opened up under his bedroom.
A heavy digger was taking apart the property in Florida and some personal possessions were seen in boxes in the front garden.
It comes after rescue teams called off their efforts to find Jeff Bush's body as they considered it too dangerous to continue.
They feared the "seriously unstable" house could collapse on them if they tried to search for him.
"Our data has come back, and there is absolutely no way we can do any kind of recovery without endangering lives of workers," said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico.
Before the search was abandoned, engineers found the soil in the slowly growing sinkhole around the home was very soft and believed the entire property could eventually be swallowed up.
"At this point it's really not possible to recover the body," Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said, adding "we're dealing with a very unusual sinkhole".
Mr Bush, 37 vanished when the ground opened up in Seffner, east of Tampa Bay.
It dragged him down along with everything else in the bedroom.
Five other people were at the property as the floor began to fall through into the hole estimated to be six metres across and six metres deep. But no-one else was injured.
Jeremy Bush, who tried to rescue his brother, was taken to the front of the house by police before the heavy equipment was moved into position.
He repositioned some flowers from a makeshift memorial to a safer location, where he and an unidentified woman knelt in prayer.
Crews have been testing the unstable ground surrounding the home and evacuated two nearby houses as a precaution.
Sisters Soliris and Elbairis Gonzalez, who live on the same street, said neighbours were worried about their safety.
"I've had nightmares," Soliris Gonzalez, 31, said. "In my dreams, I keep checking for cracks in the house."
They said the family has discussed where to go if forced to evacuate, and they have taken their important documents to a storage unit.
"The rest of it, this is material stuff, as long as our family is fine," Soliris Gonzalez said.
"You never know underneath the ground what's happening," added 30-year-old Elbairis Gonzalez.
Florida is highly prone to sinkholes because there are caverns below ground of limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water.
They are so common that state law requires home insurers provide coverage against the danger.
Mr Bush said someone visited the home a couple of months ago to check for sinkholes and other things, apparently for insurance purposes.
"He said there was nothing wrong with the house. Nothing. And a couple of months later, my brother dies. In a sinkhole," he said.
what do you think?
How do we create these things ? I know just the place.
i saw this the chinese tunnelled underground to invade the usa
Just left him there no heat sensors or other means to check he is still alive. Must be American cut backs if you cannot pay TOUGH.
I wiil be made up if he finds a way out.
Me too - I was horrified that they called off the search so soon. He could well be awaiting a rescue in some air pocket - very likely if his bed etc. went down with him.
Yes. I thought they gave up on him rather too easily. Perhaps Health & Safety regs are even worse in the US than they are here
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I feel so sorry for Jeremy Bush - he was in tatters on tv talking about his attempted rescue of his brother. I hope once the site is cleared they use some sort of measuring devices to find the diameter of this hole and restart attempts to find the guy - it'd be fab to find him alive!
Movvi. Fab is not the word. Miracle is more like it ---unfortunately
I know really, Dave, but in an ideal world, eh? I still think they might - ever the optimist!
Lets hope they find this guy alive, Best of luck mate.
Lets hope he is not insured with AXA because if he is he's goosed. They wriggle out of anything