A 67-year-old woman who looking at her phone while carrying shopping flipped over a open cellar hatch on the sidewalk.

Her fall was captured on CCTV footage in Plainfield, New Jersey - and shows how dangerous a quick glance at a smartphone can be.

It looks as if the woman might be able to right herself but because her hands are full, with her phone and another bag, she can't help but tumble six feet down into a basement.

Her fall is witnessed by two young woman walking by the cellar doors. A man wearing a hard hat can also be seen reacting after the unidentified woman falls down.

The basement acts as a storage area for a window pane store. The hatch was reportedly open because of work on the gas lines in the town.

After the accident, Plainfield Fire Division rushed to the scene to extricate the woman from the basement.

Local reports say she was taken to hospital with serious injuries but is now in a stable condition.