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'I could have suffocated'

Buried Portland construction worker thanks God and rescue team

BY EVERARD OWEN Observer corespondent

Sunday, August 19, 2012    

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PORT ANTONIO, Portland — Jason Campbell yesterday thanked God and the rescue team that pulled him from under a mound of dirt and concrete Friday after a bizarre mishap on a construction site in this town on Jamaica's north-eastern coast.

Thirty-seven-year-old Campbell, also known as 'Rasta' and 'Manners', was working on a construction site on the Spring Bank road when the concrete roof caved in while workers were removing the decking.

It took firefighters and other emergency services personnel two-and-a-half hours to get him to the surface, after which they took him to the Port Antonio Hospital.

"I have to give thanks, dada. I have to give thanks that I am alive after going through that ordeal," Campbell told the Jamaica Observer from his hospital bed yesterday. He had just returned from doing an ultra-sound examination.

"I have a little pain in my right leg still, and mi neck back and mi hand right here. Mi tek time a cope still. A father God save me, for mi a wonder if mi a go mek it still. The dirt cover mi face and it was pinned down, and mi have to tek mi hand and scratch out dirt outta mi face so mi can breathe, but mi nose lock. Right down mi face you can see bruises," he said.

"When mi come out and see the column dem, mi give thanks," he said of the moment he was pulled from under the rubble.

He thanked the rescue team and said that he wants to visit them after he is discharged from the hospital.

"I could have suffocated under there," he said. "When mi see where mi a come from, mi haffi give thanks."

Yesterday, a worker who was with Campbell recalled the incident. He said he heard a sound and ran, but Campbell did not move.

Head of the fire service, District Officer Raymond Goodlett, said that when he and his team got to the site they heard Campbell calling out for help.

"We communicated with him, and that was good," Goodlett told the Sunday Observer. "It was a difficult and delicate exercise."

He said the firefighters eventually broke the concrete and created a hole. "We had to remove some dirt and one of the servicemen went down and got him out," said Goodlett.

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