Sinkholes: Can we forecast a catastrophic collapse?

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It’s the stuff of nightmares. Around 11pm on 28 February 2013, in a suburb east of Tampa, Florida, 37-year-old Jeff Bush was asleep in bed when the ground opened up and swallowed him. Hearing an almighty crash, Jeff’s younger brother Jeremy rushed into the bedroom. “Everything was gone,” he told CNN. “My brother’s bed, my brother’s dresser, my brother’s TV. My brother was gone.” Jeremy jumped into the hole in a desperate attempt to find his brother. But as the floor began to collapse further, piling more rubble into the void, a sheriff’s deputy arrived to haul Jeremy to safety. Jeff’s body was never recovered.

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