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Woman Injured After Falling Into Sidewalk Opening Downtown

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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Bob Allen joined the KDKA-TV team in January 2000 as a General...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A daycare center worker was injured Friday morning when she fell 20 feet into an open sidewalk vault in Downtown Pittsburgh.

The accident happened outside of Brightside Academy on Smithfield Street and Fort Pitt Boulevard.

Authorities say the woman was preparing to evacuate children during a fire drill. She came out of a doorway, which was less than two feet away from the opening in the sidewalk, and that’s when she fell.

While there were barricades blocking the opening on the sidewalk, there was no barrier between the door and the opening.

“At no point were children near that hole. They were still inside the building,” said Beth Swaney, of the Brightside Academy. “She was getting that door open to start to evacuate children.”

Rescue crews used rope and a Stokes basket to pull the injured woman to safety.

“It’s a good 18 to 20 feet and she sustained ankle, back and arm pain,” said Barry Warble, of Pittsburgh EMS.

Officials say she was conscious and speaking at the scene.

She was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital for treatment of a dislocated shoulder.

Authorities say the trap doors were opened because a contracting company was doing some cement work in the basement.

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