Tuesday 23 January 2018

Man screams for help and vanishes as 30-ft hole opens up in his bedroom

Harry Alsop

A man is missing, presumed dead, after a 30ft-wide sinkhole opened under his bedroom in the middle of the night in Tampa, Florida.

Jeff Bush screamed for help, then disappeared, his brother Jerry said.

"I heard a loud crash like a car coming through the house and I heard my brother screaming," Jerry said. He entered his 36-year-old brother's room and was shocked by what he saw.

"All I seen was this big hole, real big hole, and all I seen was his mattress."

Mr Bush jumped into the hole and started digging. "I thought I could hear him holler for me to help him."

He added: "I know in my heart, he's dead."

Jerry Bush then had to be rescued by a sheriff's deputy, Douglas Duvall.

"When he (Duvall) went into the bedroom and saw the person in there, without thinking of his own safety he got down on his hands and knees, reached down because the subject was struggling to get out of the hole. He managed to get him out of the sinkhole before it took him away as well," said Lt Donald Morris, of Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

There were six people at the home when it collapsed, including Jerry's wife and his two-year-old daughter.

Emergency crews lowered engineering equipment into the hole, but there was no sign of life.

At the surface, officials estimated it was about 30 feet across. Below the surface, officials believed it was 100 feet wide.

Sinkholes are common in seaside Florida, whose underlying limestone and dolomite can be worn away by water and chemicals, then collapse.

Janell Wheeler, the missing man's aunt, was in the house when the sinkhole opened on Thursday night.

"It sounded like a car hit my house," she said. "I just want my nephew." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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