Science

Florida Sinkhole Swallows Man Alive: Victim's Family Still In Shock, Second Sinkhole Found

By Hilda Scott , Mar 05, 2013 06:33 PM EST

Family members of the sinkhole victim are still devastated and said that rescuers could have done more. A second sinkhole was found Monday, three miles away.

Jeff Bush, the 37-year old Florida landscaper was presumed dead Saturday by local officials. Rescue workers gave up the search for the victim who was swallowed by a sinkhole last week as he slept in his bedroom.

The victim's brother, 35-year-old Jeremy Bush jumped into the sinkhole in an attempt to save his brother when the incident occurred at around 11 p.m. Thursday evening. Bush; girlfriend Rachel Wicker, his daughter Hannah and two others ages 45 and 50 are the surviving people that lived in the house. They managed to escape as the earth crumpled that Thursday night when the ground opened and took Jeff Bush along with his bedroom.

"I tried my hardest to get you out, brother. I think I'm the only one that really tried to get you out. They said the ground was too unstable to do anything, but they got all this heavy equipment on there, pulling stuff out and everyone's cheering for everything that's coming out of the house. I've had enough of the cheering," Bush said in a news conference.

On Sunday morning, machinery was brought in to demolish the home. Firefighters later went into the wreckage to retrieve some the family's belongings –– a bible, family photos and a jewelry box. Family, friends and neighbors cheered as the valuable items were safely retrieved.

Demolition on the rest of the house commenced Monday and the family is still distraught. "I feel that they could've tried harder to try to get my brother out of there. That was my brother. My mom and dad are going through so much right now," Bush said. 

The body of Jeff Bush cannot be declared dead by the sheriff's office and the medical examiner until the body is found. Florida law states that the family will have to request for the court to declare him dead, an investigation is underway by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

As ABC reports, a second sinkhole was found at another Florida home, three miles away in Hillsborough County. The family that resided in the home for two years now plans to move. "This is not geologically linked to the other sinkhole," said William Puz, a spokesperson for Hillsborough County.

Sinkholes are a natural common disaster in Florida's landscape and can occur when water dissolves the porous underground limestone rock, causing the sediment to fall and the ground collapses.

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