Sinkhole house demolished

Demolition experts completely demolished a Florida home where a man was swallowed alive by a sinkhole near Tampa last week.

The 30-foot-wide by 50-foot-deep sinkhole opened up under the bed of Jeff Bush, 37, while he slept on Thursday, taking his entire bedroom down with him.

Bush screamed for help as his brother, Jeremy Bush, dived into the crevice determined to help him. But one of the first responders on the scene had to rescue Jeremy from the hole.

Rescuers gave up their efforts to find Jeff Bush, saying the “safety zone” around the hole was just too unstable. Listening devices and a high tech camera passed into the hole by rescuers determined there were no signs of life.

About 5 family members were in the house when the sinkhole opened up Thursday night. They say they heard what sounded like a car hitting the back of the house. Then they heard Mr. Bush’s desperate screams for help.

The sinkhole, which was covered by the house, was not visible to bystanders and the media outside.

Before demolishing the home, a heavy equipment operator used an 80-foot excavation arm Sunday to retrieve items from the home, including a purse, a picture, a Bible, and an American flag that was then presented to Bush’s mother, according to the LA Times.

Also recovered were war medallions and memorabilia that belonged to Bush’s grandfather. But other family photos were clearly seen hanging on a wall as the house was torn down.

Afterwards, the family broke down and cried as they met with the heavy equipment operator.

Neighbors in the houses closest to the sinkhole were given 30 minutes to gather whatever belongings and mementoes they could grab before evacuating their homes.

The state of Florida sits on a system of caverns which are filled with water. As the water rises and falls, the dirt and rock beneath homes becomes unstable over time and gives way. Many of Florida’s lakes were formed by sinkholes.

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