06/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Dozens Of Brooklyn Schoolchildren Injured In Freak Grate Collapse

The freak collapse of a metal grate injured about 30 Brooklyn schoolgirls posing for a class photo, police said. The terrified children, ages 10-12, plummeted about 15 feet into a shaft below.
The girls were posing outside the Yeshivat Shaare Torah in the Kensington section of Brooklyn when the accident occurred this morning. One girl suffered a fractured leg, officials said.

The Daily News interviewed two of the victims:

"We were standing on this thing, and it started shaking and we fell down," Rachel Lalo, 11, who had a small scrape on her chin, said before she was lifted onto a stretcher.

"A lot of the girls were crying. It was very scary."

Ruthie Levy, 11, described the terrifying moments before the grate suddenly dropped from under her feet.

"I heard it shaking and a lot of people were trying to jump up," Levy said. "They were in the air. They were trying to get off, but it fell...We fell on top of each other."

The grate is the in front of school, and teachers were able to reach the stricken children through basement windows, the Daily News said.

Emergency vehicles converged on the school and rushed the injured children to nearby hospitals.