Alton pub cellar collapse workman 'saved friend's life'
A workman has described how a colleague saved his life by digging him out of a collapsed tunnel beneath a pub.
Matt Bishop was buried in rubble while extending a cellar under the Crown Hotel in Alton, Hampshire.
In an interview with the BBC, the 24-year-old said he had been left with constant leg pain and flashbacks.
A judge fined the pub's owner, Coronita Ltd, £20,000 earlier this month. Company director, Steve Austen, 62, was given a suspended prison sentence.
'Nails came off'
Mr Bishop said he and his friend Ben Collins, 28, were nearing the end of a three-month job excavating a tunnel leading to a second cellar.
He said: "We heard a cracking noise, like almighty thunder, then the wall slid off."
The father-of-three said he was trapped from the right shoulder down by a mixture of clay, stone and mud from a wall, which was not shored.
"Every time I took a breath it compressed my chest and at one stage I stopped breathing and turned purple," he said.
"Ben saved my life by frantically digging me out. All of his nails came off."
Mr Collins used a power breaker to shift large lumps of solid earth lying across his friend's chest.
Mr Bishop said he was left with a broken ankle and shoulder blade and was unable to walk for several months.
Coronita Ltd and Mr Austen each pleaded guilty before Basingstoke magistrates to failing to carry out a risk assessment and failing to ensure the safety of workers.
The court heard a structural engineer told Mr Austen to stop the work three weeks before the accident, but the warning was ignored.
The defendant was handed a 26-week prison sentence on 4 May, suspended for two years.
Mr Austen, of Vaughans, Alton, declined to comment.