Soot Cushions Manhattan Girl's 14-Story Plunge

She's expected to make full recovery after tumble down chimney
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2008 10:28 AM CDT
Grace Bergere, 12, is recovering at a New York City hospital with an injured hip after surviving a 14-story fall from her apartment building's rooftop, Thursday, July 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/Kate Milford)
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(Newser) – A young girl's trip to the rooftop to show her cousin the Manhattan skyline turned out badly yesterday when a misstep sent the 12-year-old plummeting 180 feet down a chimney, the New York Daily News reports. But a 2-foot-deep mound of soot in the basement apparently cushioned her fall, reported stunned rescuers. Despite a broken hip and three damaged vertebrae, she's expected to make a full recovery.

"She's in ICU and she's got a thousand tubes coming out of her, so I'm a little on edge right now," her father said. “She's having a hard enough time breathing. There were six different things that could have killed her. Honestly, she should be dead right now.”