The Sinkholes are Freaking Me Out!

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Photo Credit: Chris O’meara/AP

Even though sinkholes are a relatively common phenomenon in some parts of the world, lately there has been a lot of national attention on some downright frightening occurrences that have been garnering the attention of many.

On February 28, 2013 in Seffner, Florida, a large sinkhole opened up beneath the bedroom of 37-year-old Jeff Bush, who lay sleeping when the ground below his bedroom swallowed him alive.  Several other family members were in the house at the time, but unharmed.

Photo Credit: WFTS

Photo Credit: WFTS

Jeremy Bush, 35, who is the brother of Jeff Bush, was in the home when the incident occurred.  He reportedly heard a loud crash followed by the screams of his brother who dropped into the sinkhole.  Jeremy jumped into the hole in an attempt to find his brother to no avail, and had to be rescued from the sinkhole himself.  The sinkhole was estimated to be 20 ft. wide and 60 ft. deep, and the surrounding area was said to be unstable.Attempts made by the Hillsborough Fire Department to rescue Jeff Bush ultimately failed. The Fire Rescue Department had put a camera and listening device into the deep hole, but could not see or hear anything.  The ground continued to shift and the camera and listening device were eventually lost.

One of the most disturbing facts about this incident is that within just a couple of days, the rescue operation was discontinued due to safety reasons, and the house was demolished by demolition crew leaving the man underground.  The man was presumed deceased.

Since this incident occurred, the town of Seffner has seen 3 additional sinkholes appear with some residents being forced to evacuate their homes as a safety precaution.  Less than a week after the first sinkhole, a second sinkhole was reportedly found.  The second sinkhole was located between two houses measuring about 12 ft. wide and 5 ft. deep appearing only a few miles away from sinkhole that took the life of Jeff Bush.

In a third sinkhole reported on March 23, 2013 in Seffner, Florida, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Department found another sinkhole, also between homes that officials report to be approximately 8 ft. wide and 10 ft. deep.  In the latest incident on March 26, 2013 a fourth sinkhole scare was reported where residents reported cracks in their walls and buckling flooring.  The residents were also forced to evacuate.

Due to the nature of Florida’s soil, sinkholes are a common occurrence; however in most cases people are not injured.  With the catastrophic sinkhole on February 28, 2013 tensions are high among the residents in Seffner.  Nonetheless, if you think sinkholes only happen in Florida, think again.

On March 8, 2013 in the small town of Waterloo, Illinois a man and his buddies were playing a game of golf at the Annbriar Golf Course when the ground opened up right under Mark Mihal who fell in the 18 ft. deep sinkhole.   “I was standing in the middle of the fairway,” Mihal said, “Then, all of a sudden, before I knew it, I was underground.”  Mihal was rescued though suffered a dislocated shoulder. waterloo513f2ca2a6819_preview-620                                                           Photo Credit: Goldmanna.com

I started to wonder what would have happened if Mark Mihal had been walking on the golf course alone when the ground gave way.  Who would know, or even suspect something so bizarre could happen to someone.  Unfortunately tornado’s, hurricanes and getting struck by lightning are not the only things we need to concern ourselves with when it comes to Mother Nature.  Now we have to pray that the ground we walk on does not suck us in.  Cheers.

Sources:

http://www.wfla.com/story/21468456/second-sinkhole-discovered-in-seffner

http://brandon.patch.com/articles/another-sinkhole-opens-in-seffner

http://brandon.patch.com/articles/seffner-saga-continues-with-4th-sinkhole-report

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/fairway-sinkhole-swallows-golfer-at-waterloo-course/article_1e0035d1-6ac2-59b4-ad5f-66a28c631e36.html

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