Crews Begin Razing Fla. Sinkhole House

They'll try to push house toward street so family can enter

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 3, 2013 7:49 AM CST

(Newser) – Crews with heavy equipment have begun 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 today. The 20-foot-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. People gathered on lawn chairs, bundled up with blankets against unusually chilly weather. Several dozen milled about within view, including officials and reporters.

Jeremy Bush, the man who tried to save his brother, was escorted with a woman to the front of the house early today before equipment moved into position. Bush and the unidentified women knelt in prayer. Hillsborough County's administrator said crews would try their best to move the structure 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 today is to knock down the house, and tomorrow they will clear the debris to allow officials and engineers to see the sinkhole in the open.

This undated photo provided by Jeremy Bush shows Jeff Bush. Jeremy Bush heard a loud crash and screaming coming from his brother's room late Thursday, March 1, 2013 in Seffner, Fla.
This undated photo provided by Jeremy Bush shows Jeff Bush. Jeremy Bush heard a loud crash and screaming coming from his brother's room late Thursday, March 1, 2013 in Seffner, Fla.   (Jeremy Bush)
An engineer, tethered with a safety line, walks in front of a home where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday and swallowed a man.
An engineer, tethered with a safety line, walks in front of a home where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday and swallowed a man.   (Chris O'Meara)
In this undated photo released by Jeremy Bush, shows his brother Jeff Bush. Jeremy Bush heard a loud crash and screaming coming from his brother's room early Thursday, March 1, 2013 in Seffner, Fla.
In this undated photo released by Jeremy Bush, shows his brother Jeff Bush. Jeremy Bush heard a loud crash and screaming coming from his brother's room early Thursday, March 1, 2013 in Seffner, Fla.   (Jeremy Bush)
Engineers cross in front of a home, where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday evening and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Engineers cross in front of a home, where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday evening and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.   (Chris O'Meara)
Engineers talk in front of a home, where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday evening and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Engineers talk in front of a home, where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday evening and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.   (Chris O'Meara)
Brenda Bush is escorted by a Sheriff's deputy as she places flowers, Saturday, March 2, 2013, at a memorial in front of the home where a sinkhole swallowed her son, Jeffrey, late Thursday evening.
Brenda Bush is escorted by a Sheriff's deputy as she places flowers, Saturday, March 2, 2013, at a memorial in front of the home where a sinkhole swallowed her son, Jeffrey, late Thursday evening.   (Chris O'Meara)
Jeremy Bush, brother of Jeff Bush, breaks down as he speaks to the media about attempting to rescue Jeff as he disappeared in a sinkhole Friday, March 1, 2013, in Seffner, Fla.
Jeremy Bush, brother of Jeff Bush, breaks down as he speaks to the media about attempting to rescue Jeff as he disappeared in a sinkhole Friday, March 1, 2013, in Seffner, Fla.   (Chris O'Meara)
Hillsborough County firefighters keep a safe distance from a home, where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Hillsborough County firefighters keep a safe distance from a home, where a sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom late Thursday and swallowed a man, in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.   (Chris O'Meara)
Jeremy Bush places flowers and a stuffed animal at a makeshift memorial in front of the home where a sinkhole swallowed his brother Jeffrey in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.
Jeremy Bush places flowers and a stuffed animal at a makeshift memorial in front of the home where a sinkhole swallowed his brother Jeffrey in Seffner, Fla. on Saturday, March 2, 2013.   (Chris O'Meara)
Engineers work in front of a home where sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom and swallowed a man, Friday, March 1, 2013, in Seffner, Fla.
Engineers work in front of a home where sinkhole opened up underneath a bedroom and swallowed a man, Friday, March 1, 2013, in Seffner, Fla.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
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