Trapped butcher saved by black pudding

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Media captionChris McCabe says he owes his life to the cylinder of blood and suet

A butcher who became trapped in a walk-in freezer escaped thanks to a frozen black pudding.

Chris McCabe, 70, said he got trapped after the freezer door in his shop in Totnes, Devon, blew shut behind him.

Stranded in temperatures of -20C (-4F), with the door-release button frozen shut, he said he used the 1.5kg (3.3lbs) sausage as a battering ram on the release mechanism.

Mr McCabe said: “No-one could hear me banging. Black pudding saved my life.”

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‘Pointed and weighty’

Upon realising his predicament, Mr McCabe initially thought he “was OK because I could kick the safety button from inside”, but “this time it was frozen solid”.

Stuck in temperatures capable of killing a human in about an hour, the father-of-four searched frantically for an improvised tool to batter the button.

With the beef too slippery and the lamb too big, he happened on the “best thing” – the black pudding, made by the Queen’s butcher HM Sheridan of Ballater, Aberdeenshire, who Mr McCabe has been buying the pudding from for more than 20 years.

He said: “It was the right shape. I used it like the police use battering rams to break door locks in. It was solid, pointed and I could get plenty of weight behind it.

“I’m lucky really. We sell about two or three each week and that was the last one in there.”

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