A British man who fell head first into a hole in the ground was saved when his boots wedged in the opening.
Pensioner Albert Hughes' prospects looked bleak when he found himself six feet under – but his boots were his sole saviour.
But his premature burial was only temporary, thanks to a sharp-eyed postie.
Mr Hughes was gardening when he was almost buried alive, according to the Daily Mirror.
The 70-year-old was trying to adjust a sprinkler at his home in Spokane, Washington, when he stumbled head first down a narrow shaft housing a water meter.
The fall was broken by his boots, which wedged in the opening, and there he stayed for four hours.
According to the paper, postwoman Janelle Maury saw his boots and heard muffled cries for help.
She said: "His feet were at ground level but that was all I could see.
"I just could not believe he was upside down for that long."
The fire deprtment had to rig a tripod and hoist to extract Mr. Hughes. The tough, if somewhat clumsy, gentleman was checked at the hospital, but was released with no serious injuries.