PALATINE, Ill. (CBS) — A northwest suburban senior citizen taking a walk this week found herself in a life-threatening predicament – she fell down an open manhole.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, Palatine police say the 76-year-old woman fell 12 feet after walking over an open manhole behind a supermarket at the southeast corner of Dundee and Hicks roads, the Daily Herald reported.

The newspaper reports that if it weren’t for the woman having a cell phone, she might not have been found until it was too late. In fact, even with the cell phone, police almost gave up their search because the woman couldn’t say where she was, the Daily Herald reports.

Police officers and firefighters who responded even wondered whether they were the victims of a hoax, since it was taking so long to find out where the woman was, the newspaper reported.

Police say the development company that owns the property had been told Friday about the missing manhole cover, and ordered a new one after the accident this past Monday, the Daily Herald reported.

The woman was taken to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights with non-life-threatening injuries, the newspaper reported.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports