Florida Sinkhole May Spread, Experts Warn

florida sinkhole jeremy bush

A Florida sinkhole that very likely claimed the life of a Tampa-area man and allowed for the rest of his family to very narrowly escape may spread, experts warn as the unstable, sudden underground disruption may spread.

The Florida sinkhole appeared in an area called “sinkhole alley” by insurers, one in which a majority of the state’s sinkholes occur. But this particular sinkhole is, engineers say, a different animal — one that is difficult to predict and may pose a larger threat.

Engineer Larry Madrid has examined the Florida sinkhole as rescuers and field experts attempt to move forward both in securing the area and recovering the body of presumed victim Jeff Bush, who was unable to escape the incident with his family.

Madrid explains of the Florida sinkhole that appeared late Thursday night:

“This is actually unprecedented … We’ve determined that there was an initial collapse, followed very shortly by another collapse and we have noticed movement in the ground since then.”

As the exact fate of Bush remains unclear and investigators work to locate him, brother Jeremy Bush explains that while he came as fast as he could to rescue Jeff, it was too late:

“I jumped in the hole and tried to get him out … I couldn’t get him out. All I could hear, I thought I could hear him screaming for him, hollering for me to help, I couldn’t do nothing.”

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill explains that officials in the county are working hard to ensure no additional loss of life occurs because of the sinkhole, saying:

“My heart goes out to the family … The only thing that would be worse, than what they’re feeling now for their loss, would be to experience additional human loss.”

Jeremy Bush, who jumped into the dangerous Florida sinkhole and attempted to rescue his brother until he was pulled away, says that insurance reps examined the home recently and found no risk of sinkholes.

In tearful interviews, he explains:

“He said there was nothing wrong with the house. Nothing. And a couple of months later, my brother dies. In a sinkhole.”


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In the clip below, Jeremy Bush talks to CNN anchor Anderson Cooper about the terrifying ordeal suffered by the Bush family, explaining that the family is distraught and horrified at the inability of rescuers to recover his brother:

Bush admits the family has a glimmer of hope that Jeff survived the Florida sinkhole, but that such a circumstance seems increasingly unlikely.