A 12-year-old girl who was playing with friends on a rooftop in New York fell 50 metres down a chimney, but survived after she landed on a thick carpet of ashes, news reports said Saturday.
The girl, Grace Bergere, had climbed to the roof terrace of her 14-storey building in Manhattan to show her cousin the spectacular view of New York. To get an even better view, she climbed the fire ladder that went up the chimney, stuck her head in and fell head over heels, The New York Times reported.
Firefighters called to the rescue expected the worst, and were shocked to find her alive, sitting at the bottom of the chimney. The building superintendent had to lead them to the door that opened at the bottom.
When the firefighter poked his fingers through a crack in the door, she pushed her hand out from the other side, the dpa reported.
"I just jumped back," Lieutenant Simon Ressner was quoted as saying by The Times. "I wasn't expecting anybody alive at the bottom of the shaft, so I was shocked."
The girl suffered some broken bones, but was otherwise in good condition.