A 6-year-old girl out for a walk in the snow in the Bronx Saturday afternoon tumbled down a manhole, authorities said.
The girl was walking with her mother at about 3:30 p.m. on Westchester Avenue in Woodstock when she fell down the snow-covered manhole.
"Out of nowhere, my daughter just disappeared. She went straight through the snow into the hole," the girl's mother, Sharon Burrell, said from her attorney's office Monday.
U.S. & World
A group of people playing football rushed over and were able to take the girl out of the manhole outside a public housing complex.
She was taken to Lincoln Hospital and kept overnight, authorities said.
Her injuries were not considered life-threatening, according to the FDNY.
The manhole was haphazardly roped off with a trash bin and caution tape until Monday afternoon, outraging the girl's mother.
"They should have closed the hole Saturday, when my daughter almost died in that hole," Burrell's voice is heard in a cellphone video of the scene provided to NBC 4 by her attorney. "This is what they do, they put garbage and a pile of snow and a chair to try to cover this hole that is still there."
Another cellphone video taken by a resident echoed the mom's worries: "This is right by a basketball court where little kids play. There's no reason they shouldn't have something guarding this," the man is heard saying. "Look how high this snow is, larger than most little kids, like four feet. No way a kid could have seen this."
NYCHA, the agency that oversees the city's public housing, said Monday evening the manhole covere appeared to be have been moved. The agency has covered the manhole with plywood as an immediate safety measure until a contractor puts up a fence around the manhole "as soon as tomorrow," a spokeswoman said.
Burrell's attorney, Sanford Rubenstein, said NYCHA failed to maintain the property and pathways "the way they're required to under the law."
Mayor de Blasio had urged residents to contact 311 if they saw manholes without covers. He said snow plows could inadvertently scrape the covers off.