HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A frightening tale a Howard County man is lucky to be alive to tell.

Alex DeMetrick reports he escaped after being buried alive.

Saturday night, a front yard in Columbia became a rescue effort.

“I just hear a whoosh and I was against the wall,” said Jimmy Landolina.

In an instant, Landolina was buried alive when the trench he was working in collapsed. He was able to make a small air pocket in front of his face. His son, Nick, began frantically digging.

“We got him out to about chest level, trying to get it so he could at least breathe,” Nick said.

“Like a snow avalanche, like you see on TV, and it just came over me. I have no idea how many cubic feet of dirt it was. It was like I was in concrete. I could flex, but I couldn’t move,” Jimmy said.

A Howard County fire crew with special training in trench rescues eventually freed Landolina without bringing down any more dirt.

“He was conscious and alert and assisted in getting to start digging himself out,” said Howard County Fire spokesperson Cerisa Speight. “Our crews did work to stabilize the area.”

“When I came up out of the hole, there must have been 100 people in my front yard. I’m just amazed all those people were there for me,” Jimmy said.

Landolina was taken to Shock Trauma. He was released shortly after with just scrapes and bruises.

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