Florida man feared dead after sinkhole swallows him

March 2, 2013 01:03

SEFFNER, Florida - A Florida man was missing and feared dead on Friday after a sinkhole suddenly opened up under the bedroom of his suburban Tampa home, police and fire officials said.

Rescuers responded to a 911 call late on Thursday after the family of Jeff Bush, 36, reported hearing a loud crash in the house and rushed to his bedroom.

"All they could see was a part of a mattress sticking out of the hole," said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Chief Ron Rogers. "Essentially the floor of that room had opened up."

A sheriff's deputy rescued Bush's brother, Jeremy, who had jumped into the sinkhole to try to find him. Three other adults and a 2-year-old child were in the house at the time the sinkhole opened up.

The risk of sinkholes is common in Florida due to the state's porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. As rainwater filters down into the ground, it dissolves the rock causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.

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