Woman Calls 911 From A Sinkhole

A woman makes a frantic 911 call from her own backyard after the ground swallows her up in a sinkhole. INSIDE EDITION has the shocking story.

A woman buried alive in a sinkhole made a desperate plea for help.

It happened in her backyard near Tampa, Florida. Carla Chapman was gathering herbs when the earth suddenly gave way. She fell in a sinkhole, and sand and mud collapsed on top of her.

She was sinking deeper and deeper when Chapman realized that she was holding her cell phone. First she called her husband Keith at work.

"I didn't understand what she was saying, she was just screaming, 'Help' over and over again. Somehow I heard, 'In the ground and sinking,'" Keith told INSIDE EDITION.

Entering a state of pure panic, she dialed 9-1-1.

Dispatcher: "911 emergency."

Caller: "Help me! I'm in the ground!"

Dispatcher: "Hello?"

Caller: "I'm in the ground!"

Dispatcher: "You're in the ground?"

Caller: "Somebody help me!"

"I didn't want to die down there," Chapman said.

But help was already on the way, her husband had also called 9-1-1, and given their home address.

Dispatcher: "Your husband just called. We're getting an officer out to you. We're going get the fire department out to you as well."

When rescuers got there, only Chapman's fingertips were peeking out from the hole. Another minute, and she would have disappeared completely.

Now she has this piece of advice for other victims of freak accidents.  

"Use what you have. And I had the phone," said Chapman.