A father says he owes his life to his sturdy bicycle helmet after a 10-foot brick wall collapsed over him.
Alan Bale, 42, called for someone to help him while he was lying there. His leg was trapped under his bike and the remains of the wall near his house.
Passers-by saved him, the fire brigade and paramedics were called.
He was hospitalized but got away with minor injuries. Birmingham Live Reports.
Alan says he was petted by the thought of what could have happened if the wall had fallen over his two children.
The incident occurred in an “access corridor” for four row houses that all residents must pass through to exit.
Years earlier, the wall had been part of a house but remained in place when the builders demolished the property, Alan said.
“What freaked me out is that my kid was out the night before,” Alan, who has a four year old daughter and a 13 year old son, told BirminghamLive.
“I lay there and thought it was just stupid luck that my kid – who’s like a stick – wasn’t under that wall last night. He would have been crushed by the wall.”
Other residents – including older neighbors and children – could have been “killed” or seriously injured by the collapse if they had walked through the wall, he said.
“I haven’t slept. The fact is, my four-year-old girl could have been there and my 13-year-old boy was in the same place where I was met. He pushed his bike through there last night.” – This drives me crazy.
“I was shocked by what happened.”
“The wall had a large metal gate and was very high, 10 feet high, two layers. They tore down the house to provide access and left that wall in place.
“The wall has been sloping gently forward for several years and on Monday morning it was leaning against the gate.
“I opened the gate, which is a heavy metal gate, and it took a little nudge because it held up the entire wall.
“I opened the gate and walked through and within about five seconds the wall collapsed on me, wedging me between the wall of the house and the wall that fell on my head.
“I stepped back against the house wall as far as possible and turned on my side. I had a bicycle helmet on, which probably saved my life too.
“The wall collapsed on me and knocked me to the ground, and my bike was trapped under a pile of bricks and my leg was trapped under the bike.
“I was pretty twisted and had bricks all over the place. I pulled the bricks away from my hands and body as quickly as possible and called for help.
“Two passers-by came and tore more bricks from me until I could breathe properly. The fire brigade and ambulance came and drove on so I could stretch my legs.
“My wife ran into the street, she really freaked out. I couldn’t walk well because my hips were twisted, I could hobble away.”
He spent the next few hours in the hospital after sustaining injuries to his arms and “bumps and bruises”.
“I’m pretty stiff, my lower body isn’t working really well,” he said.
“I struggle to move, but otherwise I’m relatively fine. My hands are a bit battered and I have some big bangs on my arms, but they’re just bumps and bruises.”
Alan’s wife, Stephanie, praised quick-thinking neighbors who rushed to help after hearing his calls to be saved under the bricks.
“As soon as it happened, I couldn’t reach him,” she explained.
“I heard a noise, it sounded like something was blown over in the garden, then I heard Alan scream. I went to the back gate and all I could see was a brick wall. I had no idea how bad it was.
“Neighbors jumped in to help immediately, and people we’d worked with through our community projects knew they could help our daughter.
“We had a lot of people who pull together for us, for which we are really grateful.”
The West Midlands Ambulance Service confirmed that paramedics were called into the street just before 9 a.m.
A service spokeswoman said: “We were called at 8:58 am for reports of a collapsed wall on Pershore Road in Birmingham. An ambulance, a paramedic, a paramedic of the danger area and a BASICS doctor were on site.
“On arrival we found a patient, a man who had been examined on site and had sustained non-life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for further evaluation.”
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