A Florida man who was in his bedroom late Thursday night is presumed dead, swallowed by a sinkhole that opened beneath his Tampa-area home, officials said.
The man, identified as Jeff Bush, 36, was in his bedroom when the sinkhole opened up. Bush screamed for help, but by the time his relatives could come to his aid, he had fallen through the abyss, Hillsborough County Fire Chief Ron Rogers told reporters at a televised news conference Friday morning.
The sinkhole is 20 to 30 feet across and up to 30 feet deep.
Would-be rescuers rushed to the one-story, 1970s home in Brandon Fla., a suburb of Tampa, but they were forced to leave the structure as the floor continued to crumble, Rogers said. The search continued with sophisticated electronic monitoring devices.
“There is no sign of life,” the chief said.
Bush’s brother, Jeremy, and four other people in the house, including a 2-year-old child, escaped.
It was around 11 p.m. when Jeremy Bush said he heard sounds from his brother’s bedroom.
“I heard a loud crash, like a car coming through the house,” Jeremy Bush told WFTS-TV. “I heard my brother screaming and I ran back there and tried going inside his room, but my old lady turned the light on and all I seen was this big hole, a real big hole, and all I saw was his mattress.”