PORTLAND – The Gresham man buried alive when a trench caved in is out of the hospital and sharing details about the day he nearly died.
Danny Russu, 21, was in an 11-foot trench in Southwest Portland with two other Apollo Drain & Rooter Services, Inc. workers on March 3 when the trench collapsed, burying Russu under rubble.
It took the other two workers and emergency rescue crews more than three hours to free Russu. He was treated for serious injuries and was released from Legacy Emanuel Hospital.
Background: Owner says freak accident caused trench collapse
On Tuesday, Russu talked to KGW about the day the collapse occurred.
According to Russu, his Apollo team had tunneled out past the walls of the trench’s protective shoring to try and save the customer money.
He said he was lying on his right side, digging a short tunnel to a pipe he needed to reach when the trench collapsed.
In an instant, the ceiling for the tunnel fell through, pinning him under the enormous weight of the rubble.
Russu, a lifelong Christian, said he prayed out loud the entire time while his co-workers and rescue crews tried to dig him out.
“They finally got me out and I was just so thankful,” he said. “I was praising God … I know it was a miracle, because I wasn’t crushed or anything. After all that weight on me? I felt like it was such a miracle.”
Russu didn’t have any broken bones from the accident. He suffered significant muscle damage on his right leg, burst blood vessels in his eyes and general soreness.
The homeowner whose house Russu was working on said he had talked to him minutes before the accident and was shocked when the trench caved in.
"It's just something you never think could happen," said Leonard Gebbie.
Gebbie said he's so happy that Russu was rescued and is finally recovering at home.