A sinkhole is a ground depression with no natural external surface drainage. When it rains, the water remains inside the sinkhole and drains into the subsurface. But did you hear about the sleeping man whose entire bedroom got swallowed by a sinkhole?
A sinkhole unexpectedly opened up beneath a sleeping man’s bedroom in Florida in 2013 and swallowed him whole. He is presumed to be dead.
What Happened to the Man who Got Swallowed by the Sinkhole?
According to his brother, a Florida man fell into a sinkhole that suddenly opened beneath the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home on Thursday night, calling for help as he fell.
I ran toward my brother’s bedroom because I heard my brother scream. Everything was gone. My brother’s bed, my brother’s dresser, my brother’s TV. My brother was goneJeremy Bush, Sinkhole Victim
Bush desperately attempted to save his brother, Jeff Bush, by standing in the hole and digging at the rubble with a shovel until police arrived and pulled him out, claiming the floor was still collapsing.
I couldn’t get him out. I tried so hard. I tried everything I could,” he said through tears. “I could swear I heard him calling out.Jeremy Bush, Sinkhole Victim
Jeremy Bush and four others escaped from the blue, one-story 1970s-era home in Seffner, a Tampa suburb, with a 2-year-old child.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, what began as rescue hopes turned into a body recovery operation after monitoring equipment failed to detect any signs that Jeff Bush survived the fall into the hole.
According to Fire Chief Ron Rogers, rescuers have yet to enter the hole because it is too dangerous. Authorities are concerned that the hole is still growing and that the house could collapse anytime.
Until we know where it’s safe to bring the equipment, we really are just handicapped and paralyzed, and can’t really do a whole lot more than sit and wait. It’s a tough situation. It’s even tougher for the family
Ron Rogers, Fire Chief
The sinkhole is about 20 feet to 30 feet across and may be 30 feet deep, The hole was originally reported to be 100 feet across, but that is the diameter of the safety zone surrounding it, It started in the bedroom, and it has been expanding outward and it’s taking the house with it as it opens upBill Bracken, President of Engineering Company assisting emergency workers
As the sinkhole grew deeper, residents in the area were evacuated as a precaution. (Source: CNN)
How Common are Sinkholes in Florida?
According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, sinkholes are common in the state. The state is built on bedrock composed of limestone or other carbonate rock that can be eroded by acidic groundwater. This results in voids that collapse when the rock can no longer support the weight of what’s above it.
According to a Florida Senate Insurance and Banking Committee report, Hillsborough County is part of sinkhole alley, which accounts for two-thirds of the state’s sinkhole-related insurance claims.
However, Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill stressed Friday that the sinkhole was not your typical one.
They still have not been able to find the boundaries of the underground chasm. For that reason, we’re being very deliberate, he said. “We’re very frustrated. But we’re pursuing it as quickly as we can, as safely as we can.Mike Merill, County Administrator for Hillsborough County
Image from NyPost