Long Island

3 People Found Stuck in Gaping Sinkhole on New York Front Lawn

Two of the people who had been trapped in the 10-foot-wide by 8-foot-deep hole suffered minor injuries, while the third person was not hurt following the frightening ordeal

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Two senior women and a man got stuck in a gaping sinkhole in a Long Island front yard Thursday, authorities say.

Suffolk County cops say they initially responded to a home in Huntington Station just after 6 a.m. for a report of a woman stuck in a hole in the ground. When they arrived, they found her — and two others, a man and a woman — in the hole.

The first woman, 71-year-old Luz Bedoya, fell into the hole as she walked out the front door in the pre-dawn darkness on her way to work. Doorbell video shows her leaving the home, when the ground beneath her feet suddenly gave way.

A man and a woman then ran to try and help, but they too wound up falling into the hole.

The owner of the home said the hole that three people fell into and were trapped in is about eight feet deep and 10 feet wide

Homeowner Benjamin Orengo later walked out to see all three — including his wife — stuck in the hole, with mud above their knees.

"Really scared. They were worried about going down. I tell them don’t move. It’s like quick sand right?" Orengo said.

The hole was about eight feet deep and 10 feet wide, according to Orengo, and smack in the front yard of the single-family home on West 10th Street.

Orengo grabbed this extension cord and a ladder, and with the help of two Suffolk County police officers, rescued his wife and the two others. He was thankful for the way it ended: without tragedy.

"Everybody is doing okay thank God...It could have been worse," he said.

The three people were taken to a hospital for evaluation, police said. One of them wasn't hurt; Bedoya suffered only minor injuries.

In Spanish, Bedoya said she was screaming and asking for help — but she knew no one would answer because it was too dark. While in the hole, Bedoya was able to use her cellphone to call for help.

Police say the Town of Huntington Building Inspector was called to evaluate the property and determine what caused the hole. It wasn't clear if authorities believed it may have been weather-related. Heavy rains moved across parts of Long Island Wednesday afternoon and into part of the latter evening hours.

Huntington town inspectors speculate a combination of a water pipe leak and the heavy rain from the night before resulted in the ground opening up.

An investigation is ongoing.

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