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Woman survives fall into Baltimore manhole; frustrated DPW hasn't fixed problem 3 weeks later

Posted at 6:13 PM, Aug 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-15 18:16:45-04

A simple walk across the street turned into her worst nightmare. 

"My life was just flashing before my eyes," Diamond Richardson said. "I was just trying to get out of the hole."

Richardson says it happened on July 27 across from the Morgan State University Chapel on Hillen Rd.

"I thought it was secure enough. I thought it was closed. I thought it was locked but when I stepped on it, my entire right leg went in the manhole," Richardson said. 

She got completely stuck. 

"A good Samaritan actually stopped traffic and got out and helped me out of the hole," Richardson said. 

Almost three weeks later, she still has bruises and the manhole is still open. 

"I’m very concerned about the kids that are on campus. The freshman at Morgan State just moved in. Rhe returning students are coming back this week," Richardson said. 

She said she reached out the mayor and the Department of Public Works. 

"When I first contacted DPW, they told me they were going to fix it within 7 days. Being as though this is a college campus, residents are walking up and down the street everyday, I felt as though this was inappropriate. This wasn’t an affective solution," Richardson said. 

After filing a complaint, she reached out to the director of the department. 

"He informed me August 1 that this was going to be fixed immediately and it's now August 15 and it’s not fixed," Richardson said. 

DPW says they have been to check it out twice: once the day after the incident was reported and again after the director told them to, and neither time did they find an open manhole. They don't know if they have been going to the wrong address or if someone if opening it for construction. Either way, they are going to address is immediately. 

Richardson hopes they're not too late.

"Children can fall in there. It can be a fatality and thankfully it wasn’t a fatality with me," Richardson said. 

If anyone sees an open manhole, DPW says report it with an exact address to 311. The mobile Baltimore City 311 app is another option that allows much greater precision when reporting locations.