Ballston sidewalk grate collapses underneath office worker

Photo: Mike Rudd

ARLINGTON, Va. (WJLA) - An office worker fell 15 feet through a sidewalk grate in Ballston Wednesday.

The victim, a middle-aged man, was walking on a sidewalk grate at 950 N. Glebe road in Arlington when it gave way. He fell into a garage ventilation shaft and had to be removed by the Arlington County Fire Department's technical rescue team.

“It’s shocking,” says Nick Greene, of Annapolis. “I walk through here all the time. Shocking and kind of frightening.”

“I walk here all the time,” says Adam Nash, of Falls Church. “This is just really troubling. I will definitely stick to the sidewalks.”

The victim was awake and coherent when he was pulled out, a County spokesman said. According to an ARLnow report, the man had head and rib injuries and was transported to a local hospital.

A crew spent part of the day trying to determine why the grate, which is believed to be on private property, buckled and gave way.

“I walk here all the time. I will never step on a grate again,” says Renee Rufo, of Arlington.