Source: Agencies | 2013-3-3 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
An engineer stands in front of a home in Seffner, Florida, on Friday, where a sinkhole opened up in the bedroom on Thursday night swallowing Jeff Bush, 37, and most of the bedroom furniture.
ENGINEERS worked carefully yesterday morning to find out more about a slowly growing sinkhole that swallowed a Florida man in his bedroom, believing the entire house could eventually succumb to the unstable ground.
They have determined that the soil in the slowly growing sinkhole around the home is very soft.
Jeff Bush, 37, was presumed dead on Friday after the earth opened under his bedroom, swallowing him up like something out of a horror tale. About the only thing left was the TV cable running down into the hole.
Sinkholes are a hazard so common in Florida that state law requires home insurers to provide coverage against the danger.
The sinkhole, estimated at 6 meters across and 6 meters deep, caused the home's concrete floor to cave in on Thursday as everyone in the Tampa-area house was turning in for the night. It gave way with a loud crash that sounded like a car hitting the house and brought Bush's brother running.
Jeremy Bush said he jumped into the hole but couldn't see his brother and had to be rescued himself by a sheriff's deputy who reached out and pulled him to safety as the ground crumbled around him.
"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 through tears on Friday in a neighbor's yard. "But I just couldn't do nothing."
He added: "I could swear I heard him hollering my name to help him."
Officials lowered equipment into the sinkhole and saw no signs of life, said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico.
County administrator Mike Merrill described the home as "seriously unstable."
Engineers said they may have to demolish the small, sky-blue house, even though from the outside there appeared to be nothing wrong with the four-bedroom, concrete-wall structure, built in 1974.
Six people were at the home at the time, including Jeremy Bush's wife and his two-year-old daughter. The brothers worked maintenance jobs, including picking up trash along highways.
Florida is highly prone to sinkholes because there are caverns below ground of limestone, a porous rock that easily dissolves in water.