"crushed"8 years ago I was working for a company that builds locomotives and I was the supervisor of material handlers. My job essentially was organize and keep a standing inventory of all parts needed to fabricate the locomotive from every contract that we held.About 6 months after I had started working there I was pulling thin gauge steel boxes out from under a shelf. I believe that they were some kind of fan housing as they had a hole in the center, anyways they were only about 17 inches tall and when I got to the last one I was in a sitting position underneath the shelf above me and there was a very loud popping sound and a tremendous weight hit me in the neck and had pinned my knees into my chest. I heard a lot of yelling and could see lots of foot traffic in my peripheral vision. I could'nt breathe and the weight kept me from being able to expel my breath or breathe in.
The only thought that I had was that it was unfortunate that I was going to die at work at the age of 21. The only thing really that I can say about it is that I felt very animalistic as I was starting to lose consciousness. I knew that I was dying and I was scared. I did'nt have any flashbacks to my life or anything like that. I just started to feel a dark emptiness and all this time there was a couple of guys pitching steel plates off of the shelf that had collapsed on me. Suddenly I felt lose and I just kind of slid out to the side of the shelf. Within a minute or two after I rolled out an ambulance had showed up and they were preparing to take me to the hospital. It just happened that I was sitting behind the single fan shroud that was left and when the shelf collapsed it held up one end of the shelf and folded me in half to 16 or 17 inches tall. I will never be able to forget what it feels like to know that you are going to die. It is the single most awful feeling I have ever had in my life. I have had a lot of bad things happen to me and that feeling I will never be able to shake off even as all the others slip my mind.
What had happened was that they had overloaded the shelving beyond its capacity and it was holding up 4950 pounds of steel collision plates. By chance I was under it when the shelving buckled and by chance the fan shroud held up the weight enough to keep it from splattering me under it's weight. I have no idea how I was able to get out from under it just in the few seconds before I suffocated to death. Some kind of luck I have apparently or anothers hand in my affairs or something. I am more aware of when I am underneath something now days as I start to get anxious when I am working on my car etc.