Legendary magician Harry Houdini tried, and failed, to escape from a standard-sized grave while handcuffed 6 feet under ground in 1915. Recently, Antony Britton attempted to the pull the stunt off for a charity event benefiting leukemia and lymphoma research and, like Houdini, failed.
Britton is the third person to attempt the stunt in 100 years, including Houdini. Escapologist Alan Alan tried in 1949 and also failed, The Huffington Post reported.
After Britton fell unconscious and failed to escape within nine minutes, rescue workers intervened and gave him oxygen after he attempted the stunt in front of an audience at Slaithwaite Spa, England. He also suffered from a cracked rib and minor scratches.
Britton told The Huddersfield Daily Examiner:
“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 about it. 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.”
Britton was disappointed to learn he was just 2 feet from the surface when he had to be rescued. “I gave it my all, but it just wasn’t my day,” he said. “But I’m in the best company going.”
Britton says he won’t try the stunt again and plans to take a few weeks off from escaping to recuperate.