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London Sidewalk ‘Opened Like a Trapdoor,’ Swallowing Woman

A woman was literally swallowed by the ground below her when the London sidewalk she was walking along collapsed on Thursday morning, according to officials and witnesses.

The woman — who has not been named — was helped from the hole by police and treated by London ambulance staff and taken to hospital.

“She was shaken,” a spokesperson from the London Ambulance Service told NBC News. “But she was not seriously injured.”

Witnesses said the woman screamed as she dropped down a huge hole that “opened up like a trapdoor” outside a cafe in the leafy neighborhood of Fulham.

“It’s crazy,” Paul Smith, 28, told NBC News’ British partner ITV News. “There’s a huge hole in the floor….. I was just walking to work and I saw it. It’s shocking.”

The hole was about three feet wide and eight feet deep, he added.

A spokesman for Hammersmith and Fulham Council, which is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk, said they were "carrying out a full review of what's happened and will ensure the site is made safe and all necessary actions are taken once we have a full understanding of how this occurred."

-Henry Austin