3 Mar 2013

Search for sinkhole victim called off

5:32 pm on 3 March 2013

Florida rescue workers have ended their efforts to recover the body of a man who disappeared into a sinkhole that swallowed his bedroom while he slept.

They will demolish the suburban Tampa home due to its dangerous condition.

Reuters reports that Jeff Bush, a 36-year-old landscaper, is presumed dead after disappearing into the sinkhole that opened suddenly beneath his room on Thursday night.

His brother had to be rescued after jumping into the hole and furiously digging in an effort to find him.

Authorities used listening devices and cameras at the scene of the nine metre wide hole in the ground but detected no signs of life.

The residents of two neighbouring homes who were forced to evacuate are unlikely to be able to return.

Before demolishing the home where Jeff Bush lived, workers will try to move part of it to a safe space on the sidewalk to let family members retrieve some heirlooms and personal belongings.