Sinkhole that swallowed Fla. man 'unstable'

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Florida authorities say a sinkhole that has swallowed the bedroom of Tampa-area house with a man in it is likely to grow.

The soil around the house is very soft. The hole, now about 25 feet deep and 30 feet across, opened in seconds last night under Jeff Bush's bedroom. A dresser and the TV set vanished down the hole, along with most of Bush's bed. He's presumed dead. Officials lowered equipment into the sinkhole and saw no signs of life.

Jeremy Bush says he jumped in the hole but couldn't find his brother. Four others in the house weren't injured. They said it sounded like a car had crashed into the house.

A county administrator says the home is "seriously unstable." No one can go in the home because officials are afraid of another collapse and losing more lives.

Florida is highly prone to sinkholes because there are caverns below ground of limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water. A 1981 sinkhole near Orlando grew to 400 feet across and devoured five sports cars, most of two businesses, a three-bedroom house and the deep end of an Olympic-size swimming pool.

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