A builder was rescued by firefighters after a trench he was digging collapsed and trapped him to the waist.

Jason Reed, 30, was working at a bungalow in Telscombe Cliffs when the drama unfolded yesterday afternoon.

He was shoring up the foundations at the house with workmate Sean Payne when the trench collapsed on him at 1.15pm.

Mr Reed, a self-employed builder, of Lewes, was covered in mud and stones up to the waist.

He could not move after becoming trapped between two rods in the six-foot deep hole at the front of the property.

He remained trapped for half-an-hour while Mr Payne, 31, of Seaford, tried to calm him down.

But eventually he was forced to call the fire brigade.

Crews from Newhaven, Roedean, Lewes went to the scene in Stanley Road and freed him.

Firefighters dug around him and secured him to a rope before pulling him out, un-injured.

Jason said: "I was just down this hole doing some underpinning work, trying to shore up the foundations when the trench collapsed on me.

"I was right up to the waist in mud and stuff. I had nearly finished digging the hole aswell then this happens.

"I was stuck between two metal rods aswell so could not move. I was talking to my mate and we wondered what to do. I was okay and was not panicking or anything but I think I was very lucky."

A spokesman for East Sussex Fire Brigade said: "When we got there, we prevented the rest of the trench collapsing any further. This was to stop Mr Reed's chest being crushed.

"It could have been very dangerous. We made sure he was comfortable. We secured him to a rope and we dug round him and got him out that way. Luckily he is okay."