UPDATE: Body Of Man Swallowed By Florida Sinkhole Unlikely To Be Found As House Is Demolished & Chasm Is Filled With Gravel
A Florida man is missing, presumed dead after a giant deep sinkhole swallowed up his bedroom as he slept.
Jeffrey Bush could be heard screaming as the 30ft wide, 20ft deep sinkhole engulfed him at around 11pm on Thursday night.
“[The family] heard a sound that they described as a car crash emanating from the bedroom in the back of the house,” Hillsborough County Fire Chief Ron Rogers told reporters at a news conference.
“All they could see was part of a mattress sticking out of the hole. Essentially the floor of the room had opened up,” he added.
The 36-year-old's cries of fear woke his brother Jeremy, who rushed to try and help, ABC Action News reported.
He was trying to save his brother from the still-collapsing hole when Hillsborough County deputy Douglas Duval arrived at the scene.
Duval pulled Jeremy from the scene and he was taken to safety as a 100ft exclusion zone was placed around the property.
Jeremy later told WFTS: “I heard my brother screaming and I ran back there and tried going inside his room, but my old lady turned the light on and all I seen was this big hole, a real big hole, and all I saw was his mattress.”
Listening devices and cameras have been placed in the hole but there has been no contact with Bush so far.
Officials told Tampa Bay's MyFox there were "no signs of life" at the scene.
Neighbours have been evacuated as a precaution and crews are keeping their distance amid fears the sinkhole is continuing to grow.
Florida is comprised of limestone, an already porous rock that dissolves easily in acidic rainwater, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Click here for a map of Florida that classifies the frequency and severity of sinkholes.
Chris Gilbert of the Environmental Protection Agency also said that drought as well as people pumping too much water from the Floridian aquifer can lead to sinkholes.