Sinkhole swallows man in Florida

9:18 AM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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BRANDON, Fla. - A man is missing after a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house near Tampa and his brother says the man screamed for help as the collapse happened.

Jeremy Bush says he heard his brother screaming for help when the earth collapsed beneath his brother's bedroom.

Jeremy Bush says it took him seconds to get to his brother Jeff's room late Thursday, but the earth had already swallowed him.

Bush says he jumped into the hole and was quickly covered in dirt. An arriving Hillsborough County Sheriff's deputy pulled him to safety.

Jeremy Bush fears his brother is dead. Fire rescue officials lowered equipment into the sinkhole but have so far not seen any sign of life.

Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico says when the brother got there, the bedroom was gone and all he saw was part of a mattress sticking up.

There's been no contact with the man since then. Neighbors on both sides of the Brandon home have been evacuated.

Code enforcement deemed it unsafe for rescue workers to continue until engineers can determine the borders of the sinkhole. Damico says the sinkhole is estimated at about 100 feet across.

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