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Uncovered holes found on Antietam Street

June 29, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- A 35-year-old woman was taken to Washington County Hospital Monday morning after she fell because of a plastic clean-out device that was missing from a drain along West Antietam Street, according to a 911 dispatcher.

The woman's injuries were not life-threatening after she fell near the drain pipe at 37 W. Antietam St., the dispatcher said.

The accident occurred about 10:18 a.m., the dispatcher said.

City Engineer Rodney Tissue said Monday afternoon that he was not aware of the open pipe.

Tissue said clean-out devices are usually connected to the city's sewer treatment system, although he did not know if the drain was owned by the city.

"We'll have to get to the bottom of that one," Tissue said.

Several doors up at 21 W. Antietam St., a square section of the sidewalk was cut and the resulting hole measured 2 feet, 6 inches wide by about 2 feet, 7 inches deep.

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The hole was cut at the front of the building and led to an open area under a stoop on the building. A sign advertising a plumbing company was lying over the hole. Beside the hole was a pile of broken concrete.

Tissue said he was not aware of that opening, either.

Before a hole can be cut for a project, street excavation permits must be obtained, Tissue said.

Those working on such projects normally close the section of the sidewalk on which they're making repairs and direct pedestrians to the other side of the street or provide some other means of alerting pedestrians -- like signs -- to the work in progress, Tissue said.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II could not be reached for comment.

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