An Alabama man is lucky to be alive after a century-old smokestack collapsed on top of him in a crush of mortar and bricks.
In video captured by a drone, Tim Phifer of Alabama Phoenix Services, is seen driving a backhoe near a 184-foot smokestack he had been hired to knock down. After two dynamite detonations failed to bring down the tower, Phifer begins chipping away at it with his machine.
And that’s when things went horribly wrong.
Instead of crumbling downward, the massive structure tilts, and rains down brick and concrete onto Phifer and his backhoe.
“I thought ‘Oh no. I have a big problem,’’’ he told INSIDE EDITION.
His daughter, Ally, was watching in horror. She was sure he had been crushed to death.
“I didn’t want to lose my dad. I’ve always been daddy’s little girl. I didn’t want to say I just saw my father crushed,” she said.
But Phifer walked out of the debris. He had bruises and cuts, but no serious injuries.
“God has blessed me,” he said. "It wasn't my time."