Massive Florida sinkhole that swallowed a man reopens

Updated 12:41 PM EDT, Thu August 20, 2015
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Story highlights

In February 2013, a sinkhole in Seffner swallowed Jeff Bush, then 36

This week authorities said the hole, which had been filled in, has reopened

(CNN) —  

A massive sinkhole in Florida, which had been filled in, has opened up again – bringing back nightmarish memories of when it swallowed a man two years ago.

In February 2013, the sinkhole first formed under Jeff Bush’s bedroom in the town of Seffner as he turned in for the night. He screamed out for help to his brother Jeremy, who ran into the bedroom to see that Bush and all his furnishings had vanished into the earth.

Jeff Bush’s remains were never recovered.

On Wednesday, the sinkhole – about 20 feet in diameter – opened up again the Tampa suburb.

Hillsborough County sent an engineer by to evaluate potential dangers but authorities don’t believe any residents are in danger. After it first opened two years ago, the county bought the property on top of the sink hole and the home next to it to make sure no one lived too close.

The new hole’s only casualties have been the emotional toll taken on Bush’s family. “It brings back memories,” Jeremy Bush told CNN affiliate WFLA with tears in his eyes. “I think about it every day. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about it.”

Jumped in after his brother

When Jeremy Bush saw that his brother had disappeared, he frantically tried to rescue him by standing in the hole and digging at the rubble with a shovel. He wouldn’t stop until police arrived and pulled him out.

“I couldn’t get him out. I tried so hard. I tried everything I could,” Bush said then. “I could swear I heard him calling out.”

Jeremy Bush and four other people, including a 2-year-old child, escaped from the blue, one-story 1970s-era home.

Sinkholes: Common, costly and sometimes deadly

Sinkhole alley

Sinkholes are a common problem in the state, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Florida lies on bedrock made of limestone or other carbonate rock that can be eaten away by acidic groundwater, forming voids that collapse when the rock can no longer support the weight of what’s above it.

Hillsborough County, on Florida’s west coast, is part of an area known as “sinkhole alley” that accounts for two-thirds of the sinkhole-related insurance claims in the state.

Days after the sinkhole took Jeff Bush in 2013, another one opened up three miles away.

CNN’s Holly Yan contributed to this report.