Arizona man survives mine shaft fall

Since 1969, 35 people have died after falling into Arizona mine shafts.

John Waddell, an Arizona resident, fell 100-feet into an abandoned gold mine shaft in October 2018. He broke his leg, ankle and encountered three rattlesnakes.

Without cellphone service, a flashlight, food or water, Waddell said, “I didn’t know anyone was coming for me. I thought I was going to die.”

Nearly three days after the fall, Waddell’s friend went looking for him and heard his cries for help.

It took rescue crews about three hours to hoist Waddell out of the shaft. But, despite the physical trauma, Waddell says he’ll continue to explore.

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John Waddell

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