'He couldn't move': New York City man falls into sinkhole full of rats

Guardian staff
·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

A New York City man has fallen through a sinkhole in a sidewalk, landing directly on to a pack of rats and leaving him unable to scream for help out of a fear that they might crawl into his mouth, local media have reported.

In a city long used to tall tales of urban horror, like crocodiles in the sewers, the real-life terror experienced by Leonard Shoulders, 33, appeared to strike an appalled chord with denizens of the Big Apple.

Shoulders was waiting for a bus in the Bronx when suddenly the concrete beneath his feet cracked open and he plummeted into a hole, breaking his arm and leg, according to his brother, Greg White.

White told the New York Daily News: “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.”

Firefighters eventually took half an hour to extricate Shoulders from the rat-filled cavity and he was taken to a local hospital, where he is recovering.