Roofer dives into vat of acid to save colleague

An American roofer made an astonishing leap of faith for a co-worker by jumping into a vat of nitric acid to save his life.

Martin Davis, 44, fell 40 feet into a tank of nitric acid while working on the roof of a metal tube manufacturing plant in Clifton, New Jersey, US, and was in severe danger when he became fully submerged in the waist-high liquid.

Fortunately Mr Davis was saved by the actions of quick-thinking colleague Rob Nuckols, who jumped into the vat after him, pulling him out with the help of three other colleagues. Rescue workers cut Mr Davis out of his clothes and doused him in water to limit burns and he was later airlifted in hospital.

He was said to be incoherent and in shock after sustaining a broken rib, a punctured lung and burns on his legs and side in the fall. Despite his injuries his brother John Davis remained defiant, telling ‘The Record’ that “he will fight right through this”.

“They had him on a breathing apparatus,” he said. “His condition is not so good. But he’s a young guy. He’ll pull through.”

Co-worker Rob Nuckols declined to comment after the incident but told firefighters, “I had to get him out of there”.

Fire officials heralded the bravery shown by Mr Nuckols, who suffered burns on his legs and abdomen in the incident but was later released from hospital.