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Revisiting man's harrowing experience trapped in industrial silo
KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The man who was stuck in an industrial silo for nearly four hours last week is talking about his experience.
It happened last Monday at Consumers Concrete Corporation near Comstock Township.
Newschannel 3 broke the story as fire crews rushed to rescue 18-year-old Weston Frye.
Frye was working for his uncle who owns the company, as a summer job.
Now he's telling his harrowing story only to Newschannel 3.
Frye tells us he went inside the industrial silo to knock some sand loose.
It was routine maintenance he'd done several times before, when all of a sudden..."I was just moving some sand and I saw the air pocket and everything started to cave. I tried to jump back for the ladder and it just kind of pulled me down," said Frye.
In just ten seconds, Frye who is 6 foot 8, was trapped up to his neck in slag.
"The first thing I wanted to do was puff my chest out so I could give myself extra room to breathe, because I knew if I deflated it, it would mold right there and it would be hard to keep breathing. I saw it on "1,000 Ways to Die," a TV show.
As Frye clung to the last rung of the ladder..."It took me about 30 seconds to realize what was going on, after that I needed to start being vocal and getting some help." said Frye.
Allen Newhouse had just finished cutting down a tree and shut off his chainsaw when he heard Frye.
"I was like man, sounds like someone is yelling for help, and we went down there and sure enough, we got the bosses to shut the plant down," said Newhouse.
Fire crews cut a hole in the roof and attached Frye to a strap. He was given oxygen as the slag was sucked out of the silo through a long black tube.
The temperature inside was above 100 degrees, and the air was filled with thick dust.
Frye says he passed the time away chatting with his rescuers to keep calm.
"I talked about some school and they asked questions about my family."
Finally, after nearly four hours Frye was free. He says he insisted he walk out.
"They kept telling me they wanted to put me in a harness and pull me out. None of that was necessary. I just wanted to climb the ladder and get out and go home and take a shower," said Frye.
After a slow climb down the ladder he was put on a stretcher with a big smile on his face.
"I was just relieved to be out of there," said Frye.
Now Frye's on to the next challenge. Today he's heading off to Western Michigan University where he'll be up to his neck in homework.
Frye admits after all that's happened, he may still go back to work for his uncle at Consumers Concrete again next summer.