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Woman Hurt After Sidewalk Collapses In Washington Heights

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A woman in Washington Heights was rushed to the hospital after the sidewalk she was walking on collapsed Saturday morning.

As CBS2's Reena Roy reported, the woman was sent plunging about 5 feet underground after the sidewalk suddenly crumbled away while she was walking in front of 537 West 158th St. around 7:40 a.m.

New Yorkers, of course, walk everywhere every single day. But they never expect the ground literally to fall from under their feet as it did with the 48-year-old woman.

Neighbors said the mother of two, known as Marianna, was standing with her husband getting ready to sell flowers as she does every day when the concrete crumbled.

"She was just getting ready, and the floor of the sidewalk that is close to the building, it gave in and ended up collapsing – bring her down about 8 feet in the basement, and that's when a piece of concrete landed up on her leg," said neighbor Giovanni Antones.

The woman got stuck and was screaming out for help with her terrified husband by her side.

"She was screaming," said neighbor Charles Guerrero. "She's in a lot of pain."

Crews pulled the woman from the rubble and rushed her to NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem. Police said she had a broken leg, but her condition was stable.

"Everybody come -- the firemen, the police, the ambulance, everybody," Guerrero said.

Neighbors said Marianna has lived in the area with her husband and two sons for decades. They said she rents out the basement of 537 W. 158th St. for her flower business.

Guerrero said he has never noticed anything wrong with the sidewalk before.

"Never," he said, "I'm working over there sometimes, I sit down over there in the night, and nothing happened."

The city has put a partial vacate order on the basement of the two buildings that front of the sidewalk. The owners have also been issued violations for failing to maintain the cellars and the sidewalks.

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