Skip to Content

Demolition crews are working on razing the Florida home where a sinkhole opened up last week underneath a bedroom, swallowing a sleeping man.

Jeff Bush, 37, was declared “presumed dead” by Hillsborough County officials on Sunday as rescue workers abandoned hope of recovering his body.

Looking at photos of the Florida sinkhole, you can see why:

Robby Anderson Mugshot

The goal now is to demolish the rest of the house before efforts will begin to stabilize the sinkhole, said William Puz, a spokesman for Hillsborough County.

The hole was about 30 feet wide and 60 feet deep and filled with clay and debris. It is unlikely that Bush’s body will ever be retrieved, officials said.


Two nearby houses have been evacuated because the sinkhole has weakened the ground underneath them; residents probably will never be allowed inside.

Bush, a landscaper, had moved into the four-bedroom home only two months ago; he shared it with his brother, Jeremy Bush, 36, and four others.

A wrecking crew on Sunday began the demolition of the house, going about its job as carefully as it can to preserve any and all contents for survivors.

Bush disappeared into the sinkhole under his bedroom Thursday night.

The other occupants of the house, owned by the family of Jeremy Bush’s fiancee, were preparing for bed when they heard a loud crash and Jeff screaming.

Engineers placed listening devices, microphones, ground-penetrating radar and other equipment testing the soil on the site to seek a safety zone.

They looked extensively for signs of life, but never detected any.

Sinkholes in Florida are largely caused by the state’s porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

As acidic rainwater filters into the ground, it dissolves rock, causing erosion that leads to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.