Man rescued from sinkhole near Tampa - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Man rescued from sinkhole near Tampa

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TAMPA, Fla. (WSVN) -- A man had to be hospitalized after he was freed from a giant hole filled with water and mud.

Rescue crews had to race against time to recover that man who was stuck in the muddy, water-filled hole for almost three hours. According to authorities, the man was working when the ground suddenly collapsed around him in Apollo Beach, near Tampa, Thursday, at around 3 p.m.

In video from the scene, you could see the man stuck in mud up to his waist as rescue crews worked to free him. Reports indicated the hole is approximately 30 feet deep by 30 feet wide.

Rescuers at the scene tried to keep his head above water as the worker used his free hand to push mud and water away. Paramedics put an IV in his arm, giving him water to drink while they worked to get him out.

Two other co-workers tried to free him earlier, but they wound up in the hospital for exhaustion. The local fire chief spoke to media about their valiant rescue efforts. "The workers who were with him had fashioned an apparatus to try to secure him and that apparatus-- actually secured to a 4x4-- actually sunk down deeper into the mud. Now what we were trying to do was get him free from that wood, initially. Once we did, we were able to get his right leg out. For the last probably half-hour we've been working here. He's been out with the exception of his lower left leg, which we were finally able to get out."

Officials also noted hypothermia was a concern, despite the warm Florida temperatures.

Officials said the location is a site for the construction of new homes. Crews had to call in a specialized rescue team to help remove the man.

The worker was taken to the hospital where his condition remains unknown. We will bring more information on his condition as it becomes available to us.

Stay tuned to WSVN 7 News and wsvn.com for updates on this story.


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