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. (Read more sinkhole stories.)