An escapologist’s buried alive stunt almost went horribly wrong when he nearly died in the makeshift grave after running out of oxygen.
Antony Britton was handcuffed and buried alive in an attempt to one-up his idol Harry Houdini on the 100th anniversary of the legend’s own failed crack at the stunt. Britton wanted to escape from the grave unaided – a stunt which Houdini attempted in 1915 but also failed.
The attempt – held at the Escape For Life charity event at Slaithwaite Spa to raise funds for charity Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (Bloodwise) – didn’t go to plan and Britton had to be hauled out of the standard-sized grave almost nine minutes into the stunt after he failed to break through the surface.
The stunt master was unconscious but was given oxygen in a nearby ambulance and eventually came around. He also suffered a cracked rib in the failed stunt.
— Britton (@AntonyBritton) September 3, 2015
Speaking to the Mail Online afterwards, he said:
I almost died. I was just seconds away from death. It was scary. The pressure of the soil was crushing around me. Even when I found an air pocket, when I exhaled the soil around me was crushing me even more. I could feel myself losing consciousness and there was nothing I could do. I was pretty much dying.
But everyone was on the ball and the crew was well-drilled. They knew pretty much where I would be under the soil and after the digger had moved in behind me, the team were hand-balling the soil until they could reach me. I gave it my all, but it just wasn’t my day.
The escapologist said the biggest disappointment about the whole thing was discovering he was actually just two feet from the surface when he had to be rescued.
Britton is only the third person in 100 years to attempt the crazy stunt, after Houdini a century ago and Alan Alan in 1949, both of whom failed and had to be dug out.
This isn’t the first time Britton has misjudged his act either. Last year, a stunt in which he was suspended by burning ropes while wearing a straight jacket almost went horribly wrong when the fire advanced faster than he was expecting. Plus, in 2013, he was locked in an 8ft steel cage dubbed Lucifer’s Chamber and was engulfed in flames.
It’s possible this guy needs to think harder about his stunts. Or consider a career change!