Grim CCTV shows a man walking down a pavement to catch a bus only to be swallowed up when the ground beneath him suddenly falls away.
The shocking incident, recorded in Bronx, New York City, left the victim covered in sewer rats and unable to even scream in case they crawled into his mouth.
In the CCTV, from Saturday, October 24, the 33-year-old man is ambling towards the bus stop when he staggers and a hole appears in the ground.
He then falls vertically straight down in the abyss, with his arms briefly gripping the side, before he disappears from view as he plunges underground.
Frightened people rush to see what is happening, but are unable to help him.
The hole he was stuck in was up to 15ft deep and caused by an unstable cellar that was situated directly beneath the pavement, according to CBS NY.
Firefighters eventually managed to free the victim, who was transported on a stretcher to the hospital for treatment.
Mum stuck in grim flats with rats, mould and 'neighbour from hell'
Greg White, the victim’s brother, told CBS2 that he was in the hospital and "breathing" but in deep shock after the traumatic incident.
He said: "He was casually waiting for the bus and it just fell.
"Rats crawling on him. He can’t move. He just, it was so bad.
"He didn’t wanna yell cause he was afraid there was gonna be rats going inside his mouth.
Describing his brother's injuries, Mr White added: "When he fell, his face scraped concrete … that skin came off. His arm was bad. His leg is numb.
"It’s like one out of a million chance of that happening.
"I’m shocked. I was surprised but, you know, he’s breathing."
A cordon has been put around the unstable area of pavement and an investigation is underway to see if the collapsed cellar hadn't met the building regulations.
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