In March 2013, a 20-foot-wide sinkhole opened up beneath the bedroom floor of a sleeping Florida man and swallowed him whole.
The body of Jeffrey Bush, 36, was never recovered and the house was razed. With the property roped off and the hole filled in, that should have been the tragedy’s last scene.
But Wednesday, at the very same site, another sinkhole formed. Wednesday morning, nearby residents in Seffner, Fla., said they heard a loud noise and then discovered the hole, according to local CBS affiliate WTSP-TV. It is 17 feet wide and 20 feet deep, according to Ron Spiller, the director of code enforcement for Hillsborough County, as quoted by the Associated Press.
No one was injured and no nearby homes have been evacuated.
Larry McKinnon of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told ABC News that the hole appeared “exactly where it was last time.”
“It’s the same site it was in 2013 but of course, the property had been fenced off, the house had been demolished, and the hole had been filled in,” McKinnon said. “We’ve seen them reopen before. Generally when they fill them in, they are pretty stable — subsequent to that of repairs, so it is pretty rare that it reopened to the extent of this. Our biggest thing is we’ve cordoned off the area in case it does expand, nobody is injured,” he said, adding, “Specialists are surveying the surrounding areas to check for other caverns that are vulnerable to collapsing as well.”
After the disaster in 2013, the hole was filled with gravel, but according to a county spokesman quoted by the AP, “it’s not uncommon for this type of settlement to occur when voids like this happen.”
Officials say recent heavy rains likely contributed to the hole’s reopening.
The AP also reports that neighborhood residents are disturbed by the newest sinkhole in their midst.
“Residents were painfully reminded of the tragedy that befell their quiet neighborhood two years ago. TV news trucks and reporters’ cars clogged the narrow street. And folks said the fact that the ground opened again made them nervous.
” ‘Well, it’s, um, not expected and you live your life one day at a time,’ said 51-year-old Lisa Robinson, who lives a half-dozen houses away from the site and had lived in a different home in the area when the original sinkhole happened.
“Robinson said that she’s only renting in the neighborhood and they’re not planning to stay. She added that she felt it odd that her dog, a beagle named Muppet, refused to go in the backyard the previous night and Wednesday morning.
” ‘I’m pretty certain Muppet knew something was going on,’ she said.”