East Ruterhford, NJ – Danny Rodriguez of the Bronx was busy earning his living at a local warehouse for AM Express Flight where his duties include operating a forklift. At about 12:30PM Monday, a giant 40 foot by 40 foot sink hole opened up inside the warehouse and swallowed both Rodriguez and the forklift.
Thankfully, Rodriguez survived the fall but has sustained back injuries which injuries are not believed to be serious.
By some estimates the sinkhole was about ten feet deep. Authorities believe that it was the forklift which saved his life by preventing the fall and debris from crushing him to death. Also, the forklift dropped straight into the hole without tipping over which also could have been fatal for Rodriguez.
Emergency responders quickly evacuated the warehouse. John Giancaspro, the Assistant Fire Chief, told reporters that the cause of the sinkhole has not been determined.
The local administrator for AM Express Freight, Sarah Entena, told reporters that Rodriguez has been with the company for 30 years and is the best forklift operator they have. She was deeply thankful that he survived the freak accident. Rodriguez was covered in a mixture of cooking oil and soy sauce which was stored in the warehouse and also tumbled into the sinkhole.
Amanda Yoshi is a graduate of Parsons School of Design. She’s based in Manhattan but travels much of the year. Amanda has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Amanda is a entertainment reporter, focusing on performance arts and culture.