Authorities said the 70-years-old was walking near McAlpine Cove in southeast Charlotte Thursday afternoon when he fell into a 10-foot hole.
Construction crews in the area were digging trenches to put new sewer lines in the man's neighborhood. Officials said the man was going up to take a look at the hole when he fell in and was trapped.
Firefighters had to reinforce the trench before they could even start working to get the man out. Chopper 9 skyzoom caught the rescue operation from above as firefighters lined the wall of the trench with pieces of wood.
"The whole time, we were talking with him and telling him we were on the way. We were only a few feet away from him, (but) he was in what we call a collapse zone. So we really couldn't go straight to him," said firefighter Gregg Holiman.
Neighbor Dee Schone is a friend of the man.
"He's retired and I've known him for about seven years. He just goes around and keeps track of what's going on," she said.
The man is recovering at Carolinas Medical Center.
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