We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


Florida sinkhole: First images released of 60ft-deep crater that claimed Jeff Bush’s life

Sinkhole exposed after demolition teams removed final walls of house

The first images have been released of a large sinkhole that claimed a man’s life by sucking him out of his Florida home into the ground.

The sinkhole was revealed after demolition teams removed the remaining walls of the late Jeff Bush’s house, exposing the 60ft deep crater to the open air.

The 37-year-old’s body is unlikely ever to be recovered from the sinkhole, with the chasm now considered to be a permanent grave site after experts called off the search and began filling it in.

During a brief ceremony yesterday, Mr Bush’s family dropped a teddy bear, photograph and flowers into the bucket of a digger, which then dropped the items into the hole.

Gravel was later poured into the makeshift grave in a bid to stabilise the ground surrounding it.

At a news conference, Mr Bush’s 35-year-old brother Jeremy thanked rescuers for their efforts but added that he felt they could have “tried harder”.

Sobbing, he said: “I tried my hardest to get you out brother…I think I'm the only one that really tried to get you out.”

He added: “They said the ground was too unstable to do anything, but they got all this heavy equipment on there, pulling stuff out and everyone's cheering for everything that's coming out of the house. I've had enough of the cheering.”

Five members of Mr Bush’s family managed to escape the house unscathed when a 30ft wide hole opened up beneath his bedroom last Thursday, sucking him down into the ground.

Jeremy Bush has previously described hearing his brother's screams as he sank deeper and deeper into the earth, and has spoken of his efforts to reach him before he completely disappeared.