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Man survives after smoke stack being demolished comes down on top of excavator

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Posted at 7:13 PM, Nov 25, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-25 21:13:41-05

PELL CITY, Ala. -- A landmark in Pell City Alabama was scheduled to be demolished Tuesday, but what was unexpected was the dramatic way in which the structure came tumbling down.

As the footage in the video above shows, excavator operator Tim Phifer faced a dangerous situation while working to demolish the smoke stack. When the structure didn't come down as planned, Phifer did some work with the excavator.

That's when the structure came down, landing on top of the heavy machinery with Phifer inside. He said he knew enough to stay put and stay safe.

smoke stack falls

A .gif of footage posted to YouTube by user Grasswire courtesy SkyBama.com

"Stay in the hole, that cab was made for that thing to turn over on top of it, I was safer inside the cab then coming out of it," he said of his thoughts at the time.

Phifer said he is grateful for what he sees as a miraculous escape from a brush with death.

"God blesses me," he said.

WIAT states OSHA is investigating the incident, click here for updates and local coverage from WIAT.