A teenager has been hailed a ‘hero’ after saving the life of a dog walker who was stuck in a mine shaft for FIVE hours.
Ben Cornthwaite, 16, was trying out his trail bike near Altham Clough Wood off Burnley Road in Altham when he heard the stricken man screaming for help.
The Accrington Academy pupil found the 38-year-old lying in the six foot deep hole shivering and without his top on and called his parents for help.
The man was pulled out by Ben and his dad Stephen before being airlifted to Royal Preston Hospital with hypothermia, pneumonia and dehydration.
Ben said his parents are ‘really proud’ of him and his friends and school teachers are singing the Bonnie Tyler song ‘I Need a Hero’ to him.
The former Altham St James primary school student said: “I went up to the woods for half an hour before tea just for a mess about and try my bike out.
“For a short time my arms were aching so I stopped for a minute or two for a rest and I heard someone shouting for help.
“When I looked down, I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was lying in a ditch with no top on and shivering.
“We got him up out of the hole and sat him down as he couldn’t stand up. He was dizzy and falling over on his hands and knees.
“My friends and teachers just keep singing ‘I need a hero’ to me. I don’t think I’m a hero. I presume anyone would’ve done the same thing.”
His dad Stephen, who runs STC Services Plant Hire in Altham, said it was a ‘million to one chance’ that the walker was found.
He said: “I was doing some jobs at home and my wife came screaming round the corner saying there was a man trapped in a mine shaft. I just grabbed some ropes and a body harness and ran up there to try and find him.
“It was a million to one chance he was found. My son is into trial bikes and was doing a bit of practising and had literally just stopped for a breather and heard him shouting.
“If he hadn’t stopped or had his helmet on or the engine running he wouldn’t have heard him.”
Fire crews from Hyndburn were called to the scene at aroun 6.20pm on Sunday, May 1 and the man was already out of the mine when they arrived. Paramedics were also called to the scene and treated him for shock before being taken to hospital.