Sinkhole Swallows Man, 80, As He Goes for Morning Newspaper

Chasm may have been from old well or cesspool.

By Greg Wilson
|  Monday, Oct 31, 2011  |  Updated 11:40 AM PDT
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Sinkholes can open up when an old well or cesspool collapses.

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An 80-year-old man who went out to get his morning newspaper fell into an 8-foot sinkhole that opened up in his Long Island lawn.

Michael Ciron was not seriously injured in his Sunday morning ordeal, and even boasted that he managed to hang onto the papers, according to Newsday. He yelled for his daughter, who woke up and came to his aid by calling police and firefighters to the Oceanside home.

Ciron, who was wearing slippers, found himself stuck in wet, shifting sand.

"It was scary down there," he told Newsday.

By the time rescuers arrived, Ciron had managed to pull himself up so that his head was above ground, Newsday reported.

The fire department pulled him out with a web harness.

Ciron figures the sinkhole may have been the site of an old well or cesspool that opened up after Saturday's wet, snowy weather.

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