Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Sinkhole swallows man and bedroom

An engineer walks in front of a home in Seffner, Florida, where a sinkhole opened up on Friday (AP)
An engineer walks in front of a home in Seffner, Florida, where a sinkhole opened up on Friday (AP)

A man screamed for help and disappeared as a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house in Florida.

His brother told rescue crews he heard a loud crash near midnight then heard his brother screaming.

"When he got there, there was no bedroom left," Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico said. "There was no furniture. All he saw was a piece of the mattress sticking up."

The brother called police and frantically tried to help. An arriving deputy pulled him from the still-collapsing house.

There's been no contact with the man since then, and neighbours on both sides of the home have been evacuated.

"We put engineering equipment into the sinkhole and didn't see anything compatible with life," Ms Damico said. But he would not say that the man is presumed dead.

She estimated that the sinkhole was about 30 feet (nine metres) across.

"The entire house is on the sinkhole," she Damico said.

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