Man injured after falling through manhole in East Garfield Park

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CHICAGO--City workers covered two manholes at West Jackson Blvd and West Fifth Avenue hours after a freighting incident Friday night.

Clifford Stewart was standing here talking with his buddy Garry Harris when suddenly...

“It happened so fast. I took one step and then thooooooo.”

The 5-foot-11 man was standing on a piece of wood covering the manhole. But the wood gave way and in an instant, Stewart fell into the hole, landing on his rear end.

Harris got down on his knees to try to catch his friend.

“We were standoff here talking and he disappeared and I was like....I'm looking at his go down. And I think I could respond... it was just to grab him.” Clifford Stewart said his “behind caught the fall. Very painful right now. Back muscles. Tailbone painful.”

LaRay Coleman, who was sitting in her house, heard screams and raced outside to help.

“I saw just the top part of him. That when I ran out and noticed he was in the ground. I ran back and I called 911 because I knew that man could not get him out that hole by himself.”

Minutes later, two firefighters pulled Stewart from the manhole and he was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital.

Residents say they've complained to the city for years about this hole and the one across the street. But nothing has been done-- until now.

Before dust a few hours after this incident happened, CDOT workers arrived here to put a piece of wood and a manhole cover on the hole so that else falls in that hole.

Our cameras were rolling when city workers finally installed a proper manhole cover.

Edna Johnson said “Finally something is happening, and that's good. Too bad they had to wait for somebody to get hurt before they do anything.”



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