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Crews begin demolition of US home over sinkhole

Last Updated: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 00:47

Seffner: Crews with heavy equipment on Sunday began the demolition of a Florida home over a huge sinkhole where a man is presumed dead after being swallowed by the earth.

The search for Jeff Bush, 37, was called off yesterday, and a heavy machine with a large bucket scoop was moved into position Sunday. The 20-foot (six-meter)-wide opening of the sinkhole was almost covered by the house, and rescuers said there were no signs of life since the hole opened Thursday.

Jeremy Bush, the man who tried to save his brother, was escorted with a woman by a deputy to the front of the house early Sunday before equipment moved into position. He repositioned some flowers from a makeshift memorial to a safer location, where Bush and the unidentified women knelt in prayer.

People gathered on lawn chairs, bundled up with blankets against unusually chilly weather. Several dozen milled about within view, including officials and reporters.

Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said he had talked to the Bush family today. Crews, Merrill said, would try their best to move the structure forward, toward the street, so the family can briefly enter to get belongings.

"We don`t know, in fact, whether it will collapse or whether it will hold up," he said. He said crews` goal for Sunday is to knock down the house, and on Monday they will clear the debris as much as possible to allow officials and engineers to see the sinkhole in the open.

Bush was in his bedroom Thursday night in Seffner -- a suburb of 8,000 people, 25 kilometres east of downtown Tampa -- when the ground opened and took him and everything else in his room. Five others in the house escape unharmed as the earth crumbled.


First Published: Monday, March 4, 2013 - 00:47

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