Deadly Florida Sinkhole - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Deadly Florida Sinkhole

Tonight we have the first picture of the deadly Florida sinkhole that swallowed a man whole as he slept. 

--Brother now says authorities could have done more to save him.

Last Thursday, Jeff Bush, 37, was in his bedroom in Seffner - a suburb of 8000 people 15 miles east of downtown Tampa - when the earth opened and took him and everything else in his room.  Five others in the house escaped unharmed.

The sinkhole was estimated at 20 feet across and 20 feet deep.  It caused the home's concrete floor to cave in around 11pm.  It gave way with a loud crash that sounded like a car hitting the house.

The deadly sinkhole was revealed today beneath the ruined family home.  Crews have been working since Sunday to clear the house.  This was so they could better see the depth of the problem and figure out how many other homes could be in danger.

  • Jeff Bush, 37, screamed for help as he was sucked into the hole in Florida
  • Brother Jeremy: 'I tried my hardest to save your son Mom and Dad'
  • 'Safe to presume' he is dead, say fire officials
  • House deemed too unstable to continue rescue effort
  • Sinkhole continues to grow in depth
  • Water is accumulating beneath the structure
  • Crews now razing the site to discover how far the sinkhole goes and if other houses are in danger

  • Just now, Jeremy Bush watched his property get demolished, and he was holding back tears during it all. 

    At one point, he spoke to the media, saying more should have been done to recover his brother's body.  His brother, Jeff Bush, was tragically killed by an expanding sinkhole under the property just days before.

    Crews have now deemed it too dangerous to look for Jeff's body.

    Jeremy says he tried to save his brother when he heard him screaming, but he couldn't reach him.  A deputy then had to save Jeremy out of the sinkhole.

    Now Jeremy just wants what he can get. 

    "I want some kind of memories of him," he said.  "I want his hats.  I want his clothes.  I want anything that was in his room."

    Officials say it is an unusual sinkhole, and now neighbors are concerned for their safety.

    One neighbor says she has had nightmares and that she keeps checking for cracks in the house. 

    Experts say thousands of sinkholes erupt yearly in Florida.  They say it's because of the state's unique geography.  But most of the sinkholes are small and rarely result in deaths.  It's nearly impossible to know where a sinkhole will develop.

    Florida is prone to sinkholes because it sits on limestone. 

    Limestone is a porous rock that easily dissolves in water. 

    While other states also sit atop limestone in a similarly way, Florida has more factors...including extreme weather, development, aquifer pumping and construction - that can cause sinkholes.

    But officials still don't know what caused the Seffner sinkhole.  It all could have started as much as one million years ago.


     

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