NEW YORK (WCBS/CNN) - A freak accident in New York City last weekend was caught on camera.
A man was waiting for a bus when the sidewalk collapsed under him, and he fell about a dozen feet. The 33-year-old is still recovering at the hospital from his injuries.
Surveillance video shows a man walking to the bus stop on 3rd Avenue by 183rd Street Saturday. As he’s waiting, he takes a step forward and all of a sudden, he disappears into the sidewalk.
“He was casually waiting for the bus and it just fell,” said Greg White, the man’s brother.
The video shows a crowd rushing over to where police say a layer of sidewalk concrete gave out and the victim fell down a 12- to 15-foot hole.
A witness said in Spanish, “I looked down and the guy was only moving his hand.”
First responders soon arrived, but the victim’s brother said he was trapped down there for about half an hour.
“Rats crawling on him, he can’t move. He just -- it was so bad he didn’t want to yell 'cause he was afraid there’d be rats going inside his mouth and stuff so he was just there,” White said.
Finally firefighters were able to pull him out and put him in an ambulance to the hospital.
“When he fell, his face like, scraped concrete so his -- that skin came off. His arm was bad. His leg is numb,” White said.
The Department of Buildings says the sidewalk over the building’s cellar had been in disrepair and gave out.
An inspector has since issued a full vacate order for the five-story building and ordered its owner to build green fencing around it.
“It was like one out of a million chance of that happening. I was shocked. I was surprised, but you know, he’s breathing,” White said.
The Department of Buildings is investigating whether there were any construction code violations.
The Transportation Department said it issued a sidewalk violation at the location years ago, but ultimately it’s the property owner’s responsibility to maintain the sidewalk.