MARKED TREE (KAIT) - Nathan Williams said he's simply thankful to be alive after he was rescued from a grain bin in Marked Tree Tuesday.
"I honestly thought I died, I really did," Williams said.
Williams said it was the most horrifying event of his life when he and his best friend Craig Beakley were trapped in the grain for 5 hours.
He sat in smoldering heat, wondering if he would survive, as rescuers pumped oxygen into the bin and began cutting holes to drain it.
Williams said the door dug into Beakley's back.
"They had a little post, a little four by four block, I just kept trying to push the door open as hard as I could," Williams said. "They kept telling me not to but that's my best friend. I'm not going to sit there. I'm not going watch him cry like I did. We both started tearing up."
Williams said he had only been on the job 5 weeks before this happened.
He said he and Beakley were using a vacuum to run the grain through to a truck when they hit an air pocket and fell down into the grain.
Williams said at first, they tried to laugh it off, but two hours later they realized how serious it was.
He said he began to cramp up and couldn't feel his feet, feeling paralyzed.
David Simmons with Riverside Ambulance in Marked Tree was the first on the scene, and one of the first to communicate with the two men.
He described it as one of the most intense moments in his career but knew he had to focus because there were two lives on the line.
"They were just more or less what can you do to get me out of here, and we are reassuring them that we are doing everything possible," Simmons said.
Crews strapped Williams and Beakley to a harness and pulled them to safety after five hours.
"I remember falling out and looking up and seeing my mom and everyone there, and thinking is this heaven," Williams said.
Surprisingly, Williams walked away with just a mark from the IV and a couple of scrapes.
He said now he is ready to get back to work.
"The job's got to be done, money's got to be made," Williams said.
Simmons said all the responders and rescue squads came together as one big family and got the job done.
He said most situations like this do not have a good ending.
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