Daredevil escapes from burning trap

Escapologist Anthony Britton during his escape event held over the River Calder, Wakefield.'w310b244
Escapologist Anthony Britton during his escape event held over the River Calder, Wakefield.'w310b244

A DAREDEVIL escapologist freed himself from a straitjacket, while suspended upside down from burning ropes, 50ft above the River Calder.

Antony Britton emerged unhurt despite being on fire at one point in his daring fundraiser on Hallowe’en - the anniversary of the Great Houdini’s death.

Mr Britton set up Escape for Life to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support after loosing close friends to the disease.

He told the Express after his plunge on Wednesday night: “There was a chance things could have gone horrible wrong and I could have been seriously injured. I was a bit concerned with the rain, which made it a lot harder to get out of the straitjacket. When I got lifted up (by the crane) that was the first time I saw the lighting of the ropes. It was quite spectacular from where I was hanging.”

He was suspended via three flaming ropes for about two minutes. One of them burned through quite quickly and travelled down, setting his trousers briefly on fire. But Mr Britton managed to wriggle free of his shackles and was lowered into a rescue boat below, where the flames were snuffed out.

Members of the Wakefield branch of St John Ambulance were on-hand to check Mr Britton over but he was not burnt. He just had a bruised eye, possibly from one of the straitjacket’s buckles.

More than 150 people lined the bridge to The Hepworth to watch the escape bid.

Richard Loxton, 30, of Belle Vue, said: “It was amazing. I didn’t think he was going to get out of it. I thought he was going into the river after the first rope snapped. When his trousers set on fire I thought he was going up with them.”

Mr Britton wished to thank everyone who supported him. To donate visit www.justgiving.com/escapeforlife.