LYNN, Mass. -- Two people were trapped after a roof collapse at the Greater Lynn Senior Services building Thursday morning.
Exclusive pictures of the rescue itself were taken just hours before Peter Sullivan and Cesar Jimenez describe in detail what it's like to be buried alive.
"We couldn't move. We could breath and we could move around a little, but we couldn't open the doors or anything like that," said Peter Sullivan.
"We almost got crushed. The roof of the car got within inches of us and we found a little way to breath,” said Cesar Jimenez.
Family members in distress waited anxiously outside the garage where the men had been sitting in the car waiting for a work assignment. That’s when the steel beams and metal roofing caved in under the weight of more than three feet of snow.
"The beams from the ceiling came down in the same direction so they fell on the vehicle from the hood to the trunk,” said Dep. Chief Jim McDonald of the Lynn Fire Department.
Their cell phones kept them in touch with their families, while their car horn helped lead firefighters to their location. More than a dozen other workers were able to scramble to safety, but a counting for them was not easy.
"Who was on the road, who hadn't arrived for work yet. It was some very tense moments here for quite a while until we were sure that we had everyone accounted for," said Dep. Chief Jack Barry of the Lynn Fire Department.
At the hospital, where the men were evaluated they remained supportive of each other, they reflected on those terrifying three hours when they were trapped.
"We were doing a lot of praying and we were both very emotional when we called our families. If I got upset he would calm me down, and if he got upset I would calm him down," said Peter Sullivan.
The two men are forever linked by their resolve and amazing survival.
"You just don't know when you get up in the morning if today is your last day or not,” said Peter Sullivan.
That particular section of the building is now off limits and is structurally unsound. Both of the men managed to escape with only minor injuries.
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