, WASHINGTON, Mar 1 – A US man lying in his bed was swallowed by the Earth as a gaping sink hole opened up under his room in a Florida town, his brother said on Friday.
Jerry Bush cried openly on CNN as he described the freakish nightmare of Thursday night, after which he jumped into the hole to try – in vain, he says he knows – to save his brother Jeff.
“I heard a loud crash like a car coming through the house and I heard my brother screaming,” Bush said. He managed to get into his 36-year-old brother’s room and was stunned by the sight.
“All I seen was this big hole, real big hole and all I seen was his mattress,” Bush said.
Bush jumped into the hole and started digging.
“I couldn’t find him. I thought I could hear him holler for me to help him,” Bush said.
He added: “I know in my heart, he’s dead.”
The sink hole opened up in Brandon, a suburb of Tampa. Authorities called to the scene found the hole to be about 100 feet (30 meters) in diameter and were unable to make contact with the victim.
“There is no evidence of him being alive,” CNN quoted Jessica Damico, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Fire Department, as saying.
She was quoted as saying the hole was still actively developing and was not man made.
Authorities have evacuated the neighbourhood as a precautionary measure.