Philadelphia Man Falls 10 Feet Into Open Manhole

If construction or utility crews aren’t careful, they could create serious hazards for drivers and passersby. Luckily, a South Philadelphia man wasn’t seriously injured when he fell 10 feet down a manhole that a Philadelphia Water Department crew had left open.

The 69-year-old said he was cleaning the outside of his car when the fall occurred. He said he noticed an orange cone in the road near where he was parked, but he didn’t think anything of it. Next thing he knew, the man was falling into an open manhole.

A witness who was across the street at the time said he saw the man, heard a scream, and then the man was gone. All he could see was a white hat sitting next to the manhole. Emergency responders were called and had to use a tool called a Tripod winch to carefully extract the man from the manhole.

The rescue effort took about 30 minutes, and once free, the man was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries, including bumps and bruises.

The accident occurred around 2:30 on Friday afternoon on the 1200 block of Jackson Street in South Philadelphia. At this point, Philadelphia Water Department isn’t sure why one of its crews left a manhole open and only protected by a few orange cones.

The city could have faced a serious civil lawsuit if someone would have been hurt or killed as a result of the open manhole. Hopefully, the Philadelphia Water Department is more cautious in the future about preventing a hazard like this.

Source: Action News 6, “Man who survived 10 ft. fall into manhole speaks,” Dann Cuellar, Oct. 19, 2012