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Woman falls 48 feet to her death down well shaft hidden below floorboards in century-old South Carolina home

An 83-year-old woman died when she fell through rotting floorboards in a century-old South Carolina house and down a well shaft the owner didn't know was there, authorities said.

It took rescuers nearly four hours on Sunday to get the woman's body out of the 48-foot deep hole, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said in a statement.

The coroner identified the victim as 83-year-old Dorothy Louise Downey, CBS affiliate WSPA reported.

Downey was helping her daughter pack up and move from the house in Salem, which according to property records was built in 1920, Addis said.

The coroner said family members did not know the well existed below the house, WSPA reported.

As she walked across the kitchen floor, part of it collapsed. The woman's daughter searched for her in the crawlspace under the house and couldn't find her, according to a police report.

Firefighters finally were able to find the woman and bring her bock back to the surface, said the coroner, who determined she died from injuries from the fall.

Addis declared the death an accident and said he has never seen a death like this in his 31 years as coroner in Oconee County, which is about 40 miles  west of Greenville.

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