Sinkhole opens below bedroom swallowing man - New York News

Man missing after sinkhole opens below bedroom

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A man was missing early Friday after a large sinkhole opened under the bedroom of a house near Tampa and his brother says the man screamed for help before he disappeared.

The 34-year-old man's brother told rescue crews he heard a loud crash around 11 p.m. Thursday, then heard his brother screaming for help.

"When he got there, there was no bedroom left," Hillsborough County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jessica Damico said. "There was no furniture. All he saw was a piece of the mattress sticking up."

The brother called 911 and frantically tried to help his brother. An arriving deputy pulled the brother from the still-collapsing house.

Officials say 5 adults and one child in total were in the house.

There's been no contact with the man since then and neighbors on both sides of the Brandon home have been evacuated.

"We put engineering equipment into the sinkhole and didn't see anything compatible with life," Damico said. But Damico would not say that the man is presumed dead.

Damico said that at the surface, she estimates the sinkhole is about 30 feet across but officials say the sinkhole spreads to about 100 feet across below the surface. Authorities were waiting for an engineering crew to bring monitoring equipment to determine the borders of the sinkhole, she said.

"The entire house is on the sinkhole," Damico said.

Neighbors nearby have been evacuated from the scene, 240 Faithway Drive, and are looking for a place to stay through the Red Cross.

Family members declined to comment.

Florida has more sinkholes than any other state in the nation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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