TAMPA, FL -- A man is missing after a giant sinkhole appeared during the night under his house near Tampa, Florida, a fire department spokeswoman said Friday.
Jessica Damico, a spokeswoman for Hillsborough County Fire Department, said first responders had been unable to make contact with the 34-year-old man, who was presumed dead. She stressed his death had not been confirmed.
Damico said firefighters were called to the house in Brandon just after 11 p.m. Thursday and said more equipment was being brought to the scene.
She said the scene was unstable and that rescuers had been unable to get close because of the danger.
Damico said that the sinkhole was 30 feet across at the surface, but said engineers had estimated that below the surface it could be 100 feet wide, and 50 feet deep.
A deputy sheriff who was first on the scene pulled out the missing man’s brother from the collapsing house, NBC station WFLA.com reported.
"He basically just reacted and did what he had to do to get that person out," Lt. Donald Morris with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office told the station.
Dexter Barge with Hillsborough County’s Code Enforcement was also on the scene.
"It's the only one we've seen that opened up in this manner there is no evidence of the structure cracking or anything like that on the outside of the house,” he told WFLA.
County officials said the house was considered too unstable to continue rescue efforts on Friday, according to the Associated Press.