A young dad is recovering from life-changing injuries after spending 30 minutes buried alive in freshly poured concrete.
Jordan Mackenzie was helping pour concrete in a block of flats when the ceiling above him gave way – encasing him in the quick-drying mix and rubble.
The 25-year-old, from Crossgates in Fife, suffered multiple bone fractures and chemical burns and was only found after a colleague spotted his foot among the debris.
The dad-of-one is now recovering in hospital but is positive about the future with the hope of spending quality time with family at Christmas.
He said: “I was trapped under everything with the concrete still pouring on top of me.
“There is no doubt I’m lucky to be alive but I’m trying to stay positive and focus on what’s important.”
The horror incident happened around 9am on Wednesday July 19 at the former Bowhill Miners’ Institute on Main Street, Cardenden which was being redeveloped by Campion Homes into a block of flats.
Workers were pouring concrete onto the first floor when Jordan was tasked to go to the ground level underneath and check for any leaks or problems.
But moments after entering the area the ceiling above him collapsed.
Jordan recalled: “I was trapped under everything – the concrete came down along with the steel and knocked me to the ground and everything landed on top of me.
“With the sheer weight of it all I could feel myself struggling to move.
“I was in a lot of pain almost immediately but then with adrenaline and everything it wasn’t long before all I felt was total panic.”
Emergency crews raced to the scene but it was an agonising wait as firefighters feared the rest of the structure could collapse.
Jordan added: “I was stuck for about 30 minutes. It was terrifying.
“I have vague flashbacks of what happened as I was drifting in and out of consciousness.
“One thing I’ll never forget was the moment one worker there managed to pull my head above the concrete and clean my face so I could breathe – I genuinely believe his actions saved my life.”
After Jordan was removed from the scene by firefighters he was taken to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and spent 17 days in an induced coma.
Medics feared he wouldn’t survive but athletic Jordan – a former amateur footballer with Cowdenbeath United – pulled through.
He then spent 12 days at the ITU burns unit at St John’s Hospital in Livingston before being transferred to Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy and now Queen Margaret in Dunfermline, where he remains an inpatient.
Jordan said: “I suffered bad burns to my arms and leg which required skin grafts.
“My eyes were also badly burned by the chemicals in the concrete and doctors tell me I am very lucky to still have my sight.
“I had cuts and fractures all over my body – my face, ribs, femur, shoulder, pelvis and spine – so I needed a lot of surgery for that too.
“It’s been a painful and stressful recovery mentally and physically but I’m getting there despite some injuries being life-changing.
“More than anything I want to thank everyone – my colleagues who helped in the immediate aftermath, from the firefighters who got me out, to the NHS staff who treated me to my friends and family who have been supportive throughout in more ways than I can describe.
“Right now I just want to focus on my recovery and see my loved ones over Christmas and start to look forward again.”
The building collapse remains under investigation by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).
Innes Laing, partner at Digby Brown Solicitors in Kirkcaldy, is currently helping Jordan and his family around the probe.
He said: “What happened to Jordan is the stuff of nightmares and while it’s incredible he survived it doesn’t change the fact that the incident should not have happened in the first place.
“It would be wrong to speculate on the cause of the collapse or on any failings of site contractors as these are the very issues the HSE will be looking at.
“Our focus right now is on helping Jordan with his recovery and making sure he and his family have the right support in place.”
A spokesperson for Campion Homes, said: “Campion Homes is a family business, with an excellent health and safety record for over 30 years, so this incident and Jordan’s recovery is a matter of absolute priority for us.
“Whilst this is a very isolated incident, health and safety of our employees is always our first priority. We have been providing support to Jordan and his family since the incident and will continue to do so.
“We continue to assist the HSE in their investigation.”
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