A farmer has told of his miraculous escape after he fell into a 30ft deep pit of sludge and sank all the way up to his mouth in a harrowing four hour-long ordeal.
Grateful Chan Lai has hailed firefighters muddy miracle workers after they finally pulled him alive from the pit of in southern China.
Chan, 62, accidentally slipped into the mud it as he was leaving his fields in Neijing, Sichuan province, and began to sink fast.
And when villagers tried to pull him free he only slipped further under the surface.
'I was getting deeper and deeper. It was like quicksand sucking me down,' said Chan after the rescue.
Firefighters first tried pumping out the mud but had to dig Chan out when the thick, clay-like earth choked their hoses.
They managed to dig a hole alongside the mud pit and then drained the mud from the first into the second.
'I was in there for four or five hours and sometimes my head was completely under the mud.
'I was already buried and I thought pretty soon I'd be dead,' said Chan.
I'm very lucky to still be around,' he added.