“It’s like being buried alive”: testimony of the first worker rescued in Matanzas

Mexico City, Mexico.- From one moment to the next, Ángel Dionis Pérez Montolla was buried alive. In a matter of seconds he went from working with his brigade on maintenance issues at the Antonio Guiteras thermoelectric plant in Matanzas to being buried by a landslide.

Underground he couldn’t move and hurt one of his legs badly. Shouting for help was not an option because every time he did, more debris fell on him.

The worker was the first to be rescued after the accident, which occurred on Friday afternoon at the Antonio Guiteras de Matanzas thermoelectric plant. Pérez narrated the anguish that he experienced under the rubble to the local media Giron.

“It’s like being buried alive, it’s like being stuck in a hole and thrown up the ground, or worse. He started to scream and I screamed, and I realized that when he screamed the dust came in, and I said: ‘I can’t lose the air I have here. I have to calm down, at least I’m alive, I haven’t died, ”he said.

At that moment, Ángel heard that a rescue worker had come looking for them, but unfortunately his appearance coincided with another collapse in the 110-meter-high chimney of the thermoelectric plant.

“He told me: ‘Don’t despair, I’m going to get you out.’ But he didn’t see me, he was standing above me. And I was removing brick by brick with one hand, and a shovel that buried itself in my leg, the stick did stick out, but I didn’t look up, because the helmet got stuck between the wall and the bricks, and thanks to that It didn’t break my neck,” he said.

With a lot of effort, Pérez managed to get an arm out and remove the bricks that were crushing his head.

“When I took the helmet thing off, air got in. I already came to breathe and started screaming, ”he confessed. The opening he’d made with his hand as he removed the bricks allowed his voice to carry further as he yelled. In the same way, he was able to remove his helmet and throw it into the air for the rescuer to locate. Ángel says that he did all this while suffering a lot from the pain in his legs.

Finally his strategy gave results and the young man saw it. He began to take out bricks with me, he taking out one brick, I another, and I explained to him: ‘Touch here, take out here’. Until at the end I told him: ‘If you can stop me, because I can’t feel my legs, I can get one foot out.’ And back and forth, he was removing the bricks from me, I managed to get one foot out and I told him: ‘I have a good leg, let’s see if the other one responds to me.’ And he took out some bricks that he had there and stuck out my leg, I stood up, but my legs couldn’t take it, I fell and they pulled me out, ”he recounted.

Pérez is in the Faustino Pérez Hospital in Matanzas where he is recovering. The patient was hospitalized for presenting simple head trauma and dislocation of the head and right radius, injuries that do not represent a threat to his life.

Later, the worker Maikel López Navarro was removed, who suffered a pelvic fracture. Unfortunately, yesterday around seven o’clock at night the rescuers recovered the body of Alexis Bernardo Labrada Junco, another of the four workers who were buried after the collapse in the chimney of the Guiteras.

A fourth worker remains buried under the rubble. The rescue work was stopped for the moment due to danger of collapse.

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