Kerry Burke and John Annese
New York Daily News
NEW YORK — A Bronx man who plummeted 15 feet after a sinkhole opened underneath him had to deal with a swarm of scurrying rats as he waited for help, his brother told the Daily News.
Leonard Shoulders, 33, was waiting for a bus on Third Ave. near E. 183rd St. in Belmont Saturday afternoon when the concrete sidewalk suddenly cracked open and swallowed him.
“As he was falling, he scraped his face, broke his arm and broke his leg,” his brother, Greg White, 22, told the The News on Monday. “He couldn’t move, and the rats were crawling all over him. He didn’t scream, because he didn’t want the rats going into his mouth.”
Shoulders was stuck for about a half-hour until help arrived, his brother said.
Firefighters pulled the man out of the hole and took him to St. Barnabas Hospital right across the street, officials said.
“He’s in the hospital recovering,” his brother said. “It was crazy.”
After the horrific accident, the city Buildings Department issued a full vacate order on the building next to the sinkhole, after finding the vault, or basement space underneath the sidewalk, had fallen into disrepair.
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