Normally, you hear about these kinds of acts of God only in the Bible:
“It was not your children who saw what he did for you in the desert until you arrived at this place, and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab the Reubenite, when the earth opened its mouth right in the middle of all Israel and swallowed them up with their households, their tents and every living thing that belonged to them” — Deuteronomy 11:5-6
A guy named Jeremy, his wife, their two-year old daughter, Jeremy’s brother Jeff, their aunt and a dog were sleeping in a house in Seffner, FL just east of Tampa. Around 11pm, a sinkhole opened up beneath one of the bedrooms, where the 36-year old Jeff was sleeping. He shouted for help, and his brother ran to find him being swallowed up by the sinkhole. The brother called 911 and jumped into the hole but he couldn’t get Jeff out. Police got there just in time to pull the brother out of the still-sinking earth, but there was no sign of Jeff.
Engineers came and surveyed the area to find a way to go in looking for Jeff, but he was probably long dead already. The hole was 20′ x 30′, and the house passed a sinkhole inspection six months before.
The Tampa Bay Times says that sinkholes are common in Central Florida, but that it’s rare for people to get caught up in them. Although, in March of 2011, it did happen to a woman not much further east, in Plant City. She had her cell phone though and called 911; police saved her when they arrived, but it was a close call: everything but her fingertips had been swallowed up by the earth.