Sinkhole opens beneath Tampa-area home, swallowing man
SEFFNER, Fla. — A huge sinkhole opened up under a man's bedroom and swallowed him as he screamed for help. He was missing and feared dead Friday.
Officials lowered equipment into the sinkhole but didn't see any sign of life. Jeremy Bush, who was at the home near Tampa, said it took him only seconds to get to his brother's room about 11 p.m. Thursday. He jumped into the hole and dirt was quickly up to his neck.
“The floor was still giving in and the dirt was still going down, but I didn't care. I wanted to save my brother,” he said. “But I just couldn't do nothing.”
Jeremy Bush had to be helped out of the sinkhole by a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy. Jeremy Bush stood in a neighbor's yard across the street from the house Friday and recounted the harrowing collapse.
“He was screaming my name. I could swear I heard him hollering my name to help him,” he said of his brother.
Engineers worked to determine the size of the sinkhole. At the surface, officials estimated it was about 30 feet across. Below the surface, officials believed it was 100 feet across.
From the outside of the small, sky blue house, nothing appeared wrong. There wear no cracks and the only sign something was amiss was the yellow caution tape circling the house.
Jeremy Bush's wife and his 2-year-old daughter were also inside the house. “She keeps asking where her Uncle Jeff is,” he said. “I lost everything. I work so hard to support my wife and kid and I lost everything.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputy Douglas Duvall said he helped Jeremy Bush as the bedroom was still collapsing.
“I reached down and was able to actually able to get him by his hand and pull him out of the hole. The hole was collapsing. At that time, we left the house,” Duvall said.
Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico said when Duvall arrived, there was nothing left of the bedroom.
“There was no furniture. All he saw was a piece of the mattress sticking up,” she said.
“We put engineering equipment into the sinkhole and didn't see anything compatible with life,” Damico said. “The entire house is on the sinkhole.”
Neighbors on both sides of the home have been evacuated.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Barges break loose on Monongahela in Duquesne
- Ex-Wash High star McKenzie charged by police, suspended by Virginia Tech
- Steeler lineman Adams sues 3 men acquitted in assault
- 11 Ligonier Township residents rescued by boat from floodwaters
- Sestak kicks off U.S. Senate campaign — with a couple missteps
- Pirates notebook: Harrison’s day cut short by ankle injury
- Elizabeth Township, McKeesport impacted by ice jam on Youghiogheny River
- Mexican cartel kingpin busted
- Penguins need trade-deadline acquisitions to bring toughness
- Blue Jays’ Martin has ‘nothing but praise’ for former Pirates teammates
- Safety Vinopal, former teammates perform for NFL scouts at Pitt’s Pro Day