Two strangers from Colorado prayed for survival after Haiti quake

6:23 AM, Jan 17, 2010   |    comments
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Gulley returned to Denver International Airport on a flight Friday night after surviving the earthquake in Haiti.

"There was a tremor. The next second I said, 'This is an earthquake.' The third second, the roof fell directly on us. It was a cement roof with cement pillars and it fell on us, something hit me in the head, knocked me down," Gulley said.

Gulley is a missionary with United Methodist Community who was in Haiti at the time of the earthquake. Gulley had recently traveled to the Dominican Republic before driving into Haiti. He was staying outside of town but was inside the Hotel Montana for dinner on Tuesday when the 7.0 magnitude quake hit.

"There was a reception desk that saved our lives because it held up one end of the beams and the whole concrete roof. Otherwise it would've crushed us all," Gulley said.

Gulley says he was stuck inside the rubble for 53 hours.

"We couldn't hear anything. There was no sound anywhere, nothing. Nobody, except finally we heard the guy from Colorado Springs. We didn't know him, but he was stuck in the elevator," Gulley said.

Dan Woolley, 39, of Colorado Springs, was in Haiti and also at the Hotel Montana when the quake hit. He was trapped in an elevator shaft.

Gulley and Woolley had never met until they heard each other in that hotel that Tuesday night.

"We talked, and told stories, said prayers together, we sang together," Gulley said.

They communicated all night, until early Wednesday morning when they heard a new sound.

"We could hear, it sounded like somebody doing a pattern tapping, so we tapped back and yelled," Gulley said.

It was a group of Haitians looking for survivors. The men left to get help.

Then Thursday, several French firefighters arrived.

"We thought, 'Thank God we are going to be saved,' because I'm not sure two of our people would've made it through another night," Gulley said.

Woolley was also rescued. The U.S. State Department called his wife on Thursday night to let her know he had been rescued.

A second man was traveling with Woolley as part of Compassion International. Forty-year-old David Hames is also from Colorado Springs. He is a photographer with the Christian child advocacy ministry and was also inside Hotel Montana when the earthquake hit.

His whereabouts and whether he has been rescued is still unclear.

Find out ways to help Haiti earthquake victims here.

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