Man pulled from manhole after 9 days wants to thank rescuers

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The man who spent nine days stuck in a manhole in southwest Houston wants to thank the construction crew that heard his cries for help.

This morning, those workers are happy to hear Jason Courtney is on the mend.

It could have turned out to be a real tragedy, if not for the construction crew working along the feeder road near the South Sam Houston Parkway.

They heard someone screaming for help and then found a person at the bottom of the manhole.

Thanks to them, Courtney is alive.

He spoke to ABC13 exclusively from his hospital bed Monday, and said he wants to thank the men who followed his cries and saved his life.

The 40-year-old said when he was down in the manhole for nine days, he ate a snake and bugs to stay alive.

Eyewitness News showed the interview with Courtney to the man who made the discovery.

"I'm happy. I'm happy to help somebody, but last night believe it or not, it scared me," said Elmer Espinosa. "Why? Because we heard somebody looking for help, you know, and everybody heard someone needs help, but we could not find nobody."

Espinosa says crews even searched the top of the beltway before he finally looked through the grass and found the open manhole.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Man rescued from manhole after claiming he was trapped for 9 days
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A man who spent nine days trapped in a manhole speaks exclusively to ABC13.

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