London

Woman 'vanished' into Fulham pavement hole

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Media captionOnlooker Kate Sissons describes the "appalling scene" when the woman fell in the hole

A woman with a shopping trolley had to be rescued after she "disappeared" into a hole which had opened up in the pavement.

Emergency services were called when the woman vanished into a void outside a cafe on North End Road in Fulham, south-west London.

Passersby said they heard a loud scream and saw the woman had stumbled into the 3ft-wide (1m) hole.

The woman was taken to hospital but was not seriously injured.

Local workers rushed to help when the woman in her 40s fell into the hole, just before 09:00 BST.

The accident happened shortly after a man fell down the hole and twisted his ankle.

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The area around the hole had been blocked off with tables and chairs, in an attempt to stop people walking into it, nearby market stall holders said.

However, they added despite shouts by cafe staff, the woman who had a shopping trolley, squeezed through the chairs and fell down the hole.

Mohammed Atillah, who works in the cafe, said he was outside talking to the man who stumbled earlier, when the woman walked through the makeshift barrier and fell down the hole.

"I could see a small hole. I put the tables and chairs so no-one would come through," said Mr Atillah.

"A lady was passing down the street, she came into the middle of the tables and fell down the hole."

He said he helped her to reach the floor of the basement under the cafe and she walked back up via the stairs.

Council staff have now cordoned off the area.

The London Ambulance Service said: "The patient was shaken but not seriously injured and we took her to Charing Cross Hospital."

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