Man who survived 10 ft. fall into manhole speaks

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA - October 19, 2012

It happened just after 2:30 Friday afternoon on the 1200 block of Jackson Street.

The victim - 69-year-old Santo Musumeci is still in disbelief.

He says he is a stickler about keeping his car clean and he was drying his car Friday after the earlier rains.

Musumeci claims he had no idea he was parked dangerously close to where Philadelphia Water Department crews had left a manhole uncovered. Crews did place orange cones around it.

"There was a cone there and I wondered, 'Why is there a cone on the pavement?' and so I kept drying my car and going around on the street side," said Musumeci.

Before he knew it, he had fallen nearly 10 feet down into the manhole.

"All of a sudden, I felt myself going, going down," said Musumeci.

Brian Stewart was across the street and saw Musumeci drying his car.

"As he was going down, I was getting in my car and I see him one second and then I hear screams. I turn around and nobody's there except a white hat sitting next to the manhole," said Stewart.

Fire rescue crews soon arrived and had to use a Tripod winch to begin to carefully lift Musumeci out of the hole. It took about a half hour to rescue him.

Musumeci was taken to Jefferson University Hospital for some minor bumps and bruises.

"I thank the good Lord. I thank the good Lord," said Musumeci, about surviving the dangerous fall.

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Water Department is investigating why crews left a manhole uncovered with orange cones around it

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