Florida Man Swallowed, Likely Killed by Giant Sinkhole Under His Bed

Categories: WTF Florida
via Google Street View
A huge sinkhole opened under this house overnight.
Among the many natural calamities in Florida that are foreign to the average American -- killer alligators, Category 5 hurricanes, bath-salts abusing maniacs -- sinkholes are perhaps the most quietly terrifying. Think about it: At this very minute, you could be standing on a small layer of swampy dirt ready to instantly collapse into a gaping hole.

That nightmare played out for one family in Tampa early this morning. A giant sinkhole -- 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep -- opened up right under one man's bed, swallowing him whole and likely killing him.

"There is no evidence of him being alive," Jessica Damico, a spokeswoman for the Hillsborough County Fire Department, tells CNN.

The sinkhole opened overnight in the backyard of a house in Seffner, a neighborhood in Tampa's eastern suburbs. It quickly grew to swallow one of the four bedrooms in the house.

"It sounded like a car hit my house," one of the home's occupants, Jannell Wheeler, tells the Tampa Bay Times.

Wheeler was in the house with one child and four other adults, including her 36-year-old nephew, whom police haven't identified yet. His bedroom crumbled into the sinkhole, and his screams woke Wheeler and her relatives.

When police arrived, they found the 36-year-old man's brother half-buried and trying to rescue his sibling. Police were able to pull that man out, but the house quickly became too unstable to try to rescue the other man.

He's now "presumed dead," Damico tells CNN.

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9 comments
Cathy Glover
Cathy Glover

I think I found the most horrible way to die...

Dayanara Torres
Dayanara Torres

see I knew it this is why i keep telling my mom that I dont want her in our backyard too much cause I feel the soft spots

Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas

poor Florida Man... I hope he's able to rise from the rubble to bring us more stories of his exploits.

Cari Garcia
Cari Garcia

I mean there have definitely been moments when I've wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole, but not LITERALLY.

Phillip Cardona
Phillip Cardona

Sounds like an 80s cult film "Beaware of the Sink Hole, you might get sunk"

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