Urban nightmare come true: A woman fell 10-12 feet through sidewalk grating outside 150 West 51st Street. And she fell into an electrical transformer vault! Luckily, she was not electrocuted (according to NY1, Con Ed said she was "never in danger of being electrocuted"), but the power was shut off as a precaution. One person told WCBS 2, “I was walking in front of her and all of a sudden I heard somebody yelling, somebody fell, and I turned around and there was a hole in the ground. That’s when I ran over, saw it and ran to my job and called 911.”
It took 20 minutes for the FDNY to rescue the woman, who is at a hospital in stable condition. Naturally, this has scared the bejesus out of, well, anyone who walks on a sidewalk. It seems that the hinges might have given way, but Con Ed is investigating.
Many women avoid walking on sidewalk grates because their shoes' heels get caught. And this is OSHA's bulletin Hazard of Potential Sidewalk Grate System Failure.