Last updated: March 02. 2013 12:38AM - 1251 Views

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SEFFNER, Fla. — A sinkhole 20 feet across and 20 feet deep opened under a man’s bedroom and swallowed him up without a trace, taking his bed, TV set and dresser, too, as he screamed for help.


Jeff Bush, 37, was presumed dead after the concrete floor caved in about 11 p.m. Thursday as everyone in the house was turning in for the night. It gave way with a loud crash that brought his brother running.


Jeremy Bush said he jumped into the hole but couldn’t see his brother and had to be rescued himself by a sheriff’s deputy who reached out and pulled him to safety as the ground crumbled around him.


“The floor was still giving in and the dirt was still going down, but I didn’t care. I wanted to save my brother,” Jeremy Bush, 36, said through tears Friday in a neighbor’s yard. “But I just couldn’t do nothing.”


He added: “I could swear I heard him hollering my name to help him.”


Officials lowered equipment into the sinkhole and saw no signs of life, said Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico.


The dresser and the TV set had vanished down the hole.


“All I could see was the cable wire running from the TV going down into the hole. I saw a corner of the bed and a corner of the box spring and the frame of the bed,” Jeremy Bush said.


Engineers worked to determine whether the ground was stable enough to support heavy machinery to help them recover the body. They said they might have to demolish the small, sky-blue house, even though from the outside, there appeared to be nothing wrong with the four-bedroom, concrete-wall structure, built in 1974.

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