Crews Demolish Florida Home Above Unstable Sinkhole

The House Under Which the Sinkhole Opened.

The House Under Which the Sinkhole Opened. Screengrab via USA Today

Demolition has begun on the home where a Florida man was swallowed by a sinkhole as he slept.

Crews began demolishing the home on Sunday after it was deemed too dangerous to continue the search for 36-year-old Jeffrey Bush who had not been heard from since around 11:00 pm on Thursday February 28th, when the ground opened up beneath his Seffner home and swallowed him.

Although the hole was originally only about 9 meters (30 feet) deep and was constrained to one room inside the home, a 30 meter (100 foot) safety zone was cordoned off around the home for fear of a large sudden collapse.

We’re dealing with a very unusual sinkhole. It’s very deep, it’s very wide, it’s very unstable. Mike Merrill, Hillsborough County Administrator

Authorities hope to get a better look at a sinkhole once demolition of the house is completed and crews begin clearing away the debris.

There is a concern that the sinkhole may also pose a risk to two neighboring houses. First evacuated on Friday, the homeowners, with the assistance of rescuers, were later given 20 minutes to recover their belongings. They will likely never be allowed inside again.

Seffner, a suburb of Tampa is part of an area dubbed “sinkhole alley”. If fact, the area accounts for two-thirds of all the sinkhole-related insurance claims in Florida, a state where sinkholes are already a common occurrence.

A relief fund for all families affected by the growing sinkhole has been set up by Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

Demolition begins on home in Florida sinkhole tragedy [NBC News ] & Demolition resumes at Florida home where sinkhole devoured man [CNN] & Florida Sinkhole Home Demolished [ABC News]

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  1. Clinton Barber
    March 5, 2013 at 7:56 am

    That’s just sad. The man was clearly alive when it initially collapsed and his brother was the only person who jumped in that hole. Set me a haul line and I’d got in there and gotten that man out.

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