2nd Sinkhole Opens in Florida, 2 Miles From Where Jeff Bush Died

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 08:55 AM

By Megan Anderle

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A second sinkhole has opened up in a Florida neighborhood where a sleeping man was swallowed up with part of his house last week.

The new sinkhole has appeared in Seffner, a small suburb of about 8,000 people, 15 miles east of Tampa. The sinkhole, about 10 feet across, is two miles from where Jeff Bush, a resident of Seffner, died Thursday when his home was swallowed up while he was sleeping. Five others in the house escaped unharmed.

Since then, his house has been partially razed and crews are in the process of demolishing the property.

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Sky 10 footage shows the new hole straddles across a fence, affecting at least two properties.

The Hillsborough County Code Enforcement told WFLA-TV there are no injuries or structural damage at this time. Officials are determining whether the area is safe enough for families to return home.

It remains unclear what, if anything, caused the two sinkholes in Seffner.

Sinkholes are common in Florida due to the state's geology and they are virtually impossible to predict. They are 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 the rock, causing erosion that can lead to underground caverns, which cause sinkholes when they collapse.

"There's hardly a place in Florida that's immune to sinkholes," Sandy Nettles, who owns a geology consulting company in the Tampa area, told The Associated Press. "There's no way of ever predicting where a sinkhole is going to occur."

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Most sinkholes are small, like one found Saturday morning in Largo, 35 miles from Seffner. The Largo sinkhole, about 10 feet long and several feet wide, is in a mall parking lot. Sinkholes rarely cause death, but state law requires home insurers to provide coverage against sinkholes, the AP reported.

Related stories:

No Sign of Florida Man Swallowed by Sinkhole

Rescuers End Effort to Find Body in Fla. Sinkhole

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