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83-Year-Old Woman Dies Falling Down Well Shaft Hidden Under Rotting Floorboards in Daughter's Home

Authorities said the home in Salem, South Carolina was over 100 years old

<p>Oconee County Georgia Sheriff

Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office Facebook

Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office


An 83-year-old woman has died after falling down a well shaft in a South Carolina home.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said in a statement, per the Associated Press, that it took rescuers nearly four hours to lift the woman’s body out of the 48-foot deep hole after she fell through rotting floorboards that were covering it.

The incident happened on Sunday in a house in the town of Salem.

Addis said the woman was helping her daughter move out of the home, which was built in 1920 according to property records.

<p>Getty</p> Oconee County Coroner's Office Have Issued a Statement

Getty

Oconee County Coroner's Office Have Issued a Statement

According to a police report, per AP, part of the floor collapsed when the woman walked across the kitchen. Her daughter then crawled under the house to try and find her mother, but she couldn’t locate her.

Local media outlet Live 5 News have named the woman as Dorothy Louise Downey. The coroner ruled that Downey died from blunt force trauma during the incident, which happened on Park Avenue, just north of downtown Salem.

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According to the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, the family knew the floor was rotten but they were unaware of the existence of the well shaft, as reported by FOX Carolina.

Downey was found by firefighters, per AP, who were able to lift her body out of the hole. The coroner determined she died from injuries suffered from the fall and declared her death an accident.

An investigation into the incident is continuing.

PEOPLE has reached out to the Oconee County Coroner, Oconee County Sheriff’s Office and Oconee County Emergency Services for comment. 

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