Woman trapped after 50-foot crater opens at feet


WILKES-BARRE — A woman says she was gardening in the backyard of her Pennsylvania home when she struck the ground with a pitchfork and fell into a 50-foot-deep hole that abruptly opened up at her feet.

Rhonda Martini says her feet were dangling inside the crater Sunday afternoon in Wilkes-Barre as she held herself up using her elbows and screamed for help. Martini called 911 after her daughter helped her escape.

Fire officials sectioned off the hole with caution tape. Martini says she has bumps and bruises from the fall.

State environmental regulators were sent to the home and say there’s no imminent danger. State officials say they haven’t determined whether the hole was due to a mine subsidence.

Martini says trailers on a nearby lot had to be moved.