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Florida Home Sitting On Deadly Sinkhole Is Demolished

posted 3 Mar 2013, 10:31 by Mpelembe   [ updated 3 Mar 2013, 10:33 ]

Demolition crews begin razing Florida home sitting atop a deadly sinkhole.

SEFFNERFLORIDAUNITED STATES (MARCH 3, 2013) (NBC) -The family of a man who is presumed dead after vanishing into a sinkhole watched as heavy equipment brought down their suburban home near Tampa on Sunday (March 3).

Jeff Bush, a 36-year-old landscaper, vanished into the sinkhole that swallowed up his bedroom while he slept on Thursday night (February 28).

His brother Jeremy jumped into the sinkhole to try to dig him out, but had to be pulled out himself by rescue workers.

The house is being demolished after being condemned by authorities when soil samples and other data showed that the sinkhole had compromised the ground beneath the home where Bush lived, as well as two nearby homes.

"The first thing that we had promised the families was that we would do our best to bring as much of the structure forward to the street and then assist them in recovering any of their valuables and things that they wanted to keep," Mike MerrillHillsborough CountyAdministrator told reporters on Sunday. "So this is going to be taking it slowly because we don't know in fact once we start touching the building itself whether it will collapse or whether parts of it will hold up."

Work crews carefully folded the American flag that hung over the doorway and retrieved family photographs and other keepsakes from the home as it was torn down in stages.

Two nearby homes were also evacuated because of safety concerns.

The risk of sinkholes is common in Florida due to the state's porous geological bedrock, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

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