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Sinkhole Swallows Man in Florida

  • VOA News

Engineers work in front of a home where sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Florida, March 1, 2013.
A family in Florida is trying to deal with a harrowing ordeal - a sinkhole that opened up underneath their home and swallowed a man inside.

The sinkhole, now about 10 meters across, is threatening to devour the entire house.

The local fire chief says the ground opened suddenly beneath the 37-year-old victim's bedroom, and he was gone.

"All they could see was part of a mattress sticking out of a hole," said Ron Rogers, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue chief.

Jeremy Bush said he heard his brother, Jeff, scream. He rushed in and tried to dig him out.

"I know in my heart he's dead. But I just want to be here for him because I love him."

Rescue officials are trying to recover the body. Other area residents have been evacuated.

The state of Florida is especially prone to sinkholes in areas built above limestone deposits. That's because cavities develop in the porous rock under wet conditions, and can easily collapse.