Ulanda Williams, who weighs 400 pounds, was waiting for a bus at 9:10 p.m. last Friday when she tried to hide from the rain under an awning in New York City.
That's when a section of the sidewalk collapsed into a basement below (video below).
Williams fell seven feet into the basement of the Atomic Wings restaurant and broke her arm, reports New York Post.
She had to be rescued by Emergency Medical Services and the New York Fire Department in a high-angle rescue unit, which resembles a crane with cargo netting.
Afterwards, she was taken to New York-Presbyterian hospital.
Williams wore an arm brace as she left the hospital, later. She had bruises and cuts all over her face and neck from the fall.
Williams credited her enormous weight as saving her life. She told the New York Post: "Thank God, they said that my size was the only thing that saved me. Cement was all over me, debris. They had a bed frame down there, broken pipes and wood pieces. It was a hollow place I was standing there approximately ten seconds and when that occurred, I just fell right through."
New York Fire Department Fire Chief Thomas Jemmott said "She is a very large person, but we were able to secure her and stabilize her and lift her out of the hole. I was standing there approximately ten seconds and when that occurred, I just fell right through."
According to the City Department of Buildings web site, the building, that the basement is part of, has several violations, including a 2011 complaint that the facade was coming loose.
The building's owner Remo Salta told the New York Post that his property has no violations: “I didn’t hear anything about this. The city, I know, is constantly doing work in that area. I don’t know if they excavated anything next to my property. I know they’re always working on Second Avenue.”