Photo: Scene of the accident
Florida officials abandoned their attempt to recover the body of a man who was swallowed by an enormous sinkhole that opened up late last week in the bedroom of his house, presumably killing him.
After hours analyzing how to find and remove the body from the chasm, some nine meters (30 feet) deep, rescue teams in Brandon, a city on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida, said that the recovery operation would be impossible given the instability of the ground and the “unusual” nature of the cavern, which continues to expand.
Jeff Bush, the victim, was sleeping in his bed on Thursday evening when his brother Jeremy, who was also in the house, heard a loud crash and then heard his brother shouting for help.
When he got to the bedroom and turned on the light, he saw only a huge hole in the floor and part of the mattress from his brother’s bed within it.
He tried to dig among the wreckage until the police arrived, and they forced him to leave the bedroom because the ground under the home was very unstable and there was - and continues to be - a serious risk that the hole would keep expanding.
The sinkhole measures between six and nine meters (20 and 30 feet) in diameter and officials have cordoned off the area out to about 30 meters (98 feet) around it so that nobody gets any closer, Bill Bracken, the head of the engineering firm that is doing the emergency work at the site, said.
The instability of the ground in the area also caused authorities to evacuate several other homes near the spot.