Video of Sinkhole That Swallowed Florida Man in Bedroom Released

Wednesday, 03 Apr 2013 02:58 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A newly released video has provided the first glimpse of the giant sinkhole that swallowed the bedroom of a Florida man's home in February, killing him in his sleep.

Jeffrey Bush, 36, died Feb. 28 when a 100-foot-wide sinkhole collapsed the floor of his bedroom in Seffner, Fla. Though his brother Jeremy jumped into the wreckage to try and help Bush out, he was ultimately declared dead. The home was later demolished, and Bush's body was never recovered.

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The new video, reportedly captured by a contractor in the days after Bush's death, shows just how huge the sinkhole was.

As it pans, the camera shows a horrific scene. An enormous hole stretches down for at least 60 feet. The flooring in Bush's room is ripped apart like paper. Every piece of furniture is gone, and looking into the hole, there is no sign of a bed, dresser, or TV. Oddly enough, some of Bush's personal belongings and items on the wall appear undisturbed.

Bush's family balked at the video at first.

"No, no, it's too emotional, it's too raw," Janell Wicker Wheeler, Bush's aunt, told "It's still, it's still unreal to me."

Wheeler did finally watch the footage and was shocked at what she saw.

"I cannot believe it's that deep. I figured just a little hole. I just can't imagine that it's that deep," Wheeler said. "Thinking back to that night, I'm good with it every once in a while. But if I sit and think about it, you can't even explain it. It's just something you can't explain. The feeling and the horror of when it first happened."

Hillsborough County has condemned neighboring homes because of the size of the gaping hole.

"Because of the additional threat of subsidence [sinkhole] activity, geophysical testing was performed at all three sites by engineering consultants. The results of the geophysical tests concluded that the subsurface soils were unstable as subsidence activity is evidenced at each site," County Administrator Michael Merrill wrote in a letter to county commissioners April 1.

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Related links:

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

Rescuers End Effort to Find Body in Fla. Sinkhole

Florida Home Where Sinkhole Swallowed Man Is Partially Razed

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