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Woman falls after sidewalk grate collapses underneath her in SW DC

A woman was seriously injured but is expected to be okay after falling about 10 feet down an air well in D.C.
Credit: @dcfireems

WASHINGTON — A woman is in the hospital recovering from serious injuries after she fell through a collapsed air well grate in Southwest D.C.

At around 5:30 p.m., DC Fire and EMS were called to the 800 block of 4th Street Southwest for what they call a "below-grade rescue" after a sidewalk grate collapsed and a woman fell 10 feet.  

A below-grade rescue is a type of rescue where a victim has fallen into or down a specific location.

She suffered serious injuries but is expected to be OK, firefighters said.

When fire crews arrived, they found the woman down the air well. Crews worked to get her out as quickly as possible.

After about 30 minutes, responding firefighters was able to successfully and safely rescue the woman out of the air well. They were able to remove her by using a pulley system and a rescue basket. 

She has since been taken to a nearby hospital where she is getting the attention she needs. 

Investigators have not definitively said what caused the grate to collapse. 


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The woman posted a video of the rescue on TikTok.

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