San Diego Woman Slips in Shower and Falls Out Window, Down Shaft

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Why you should watch your step in the shower: You might slip, fall out the bathroom window and land at the bottom of a 15-foot shaft.

That's what happened to a San Diego woman (pictured at left) this week when she lost her balance in the shower of her second-floor apartment and fell out an open 2-by-3-foot window next to the bathtub (pictured below), U-T San Diego reported. The woman, identified only as in her 50s, fell to the bottom of a light shaft (pictured above), some six to eight feet below ground level.

"It was an odd or freakish type of accident," San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Battalion Chief David Connor told U-T San Diego.

Each bathroom in the apartment complex has a window into a shaft, said one tenant, John Taylor. He noted that the light shaft, designed to bring light and air into interior rooms, is a common feature of older apartment buildings.

Taylor said the building's landlord called him to alert him when the woman had fallen.

"The fire department was looking to see how they could get in there," Taylor told U-T San Diego. "They came to my window and saw her right there. They could reach her and get her."

Fire officials pulled the woman up through Taylor's window, and she was taken to the hospital with unspecified injuries.

Though this may be an extreme example, bathroom injuries are more common than you might think. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report last year that in 2008, there were an estimated 234,094 bathroom injuries in the U.S. Two-thirds of those cases occurred in the bathtub or shower, and 81% overall were related to accidental falls.

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