Every now and again I see stories on the news about people being trapped in places and they give me the collywobbles.

I’ve always thought that being trapped under some fallen building after an earthquake or something similar must be the worst - how terrifyingly awful must it be to be stuck in somewhere totally dark and alone, but worst of all being unable to move?  That must be the worst part - being somewhere really claustrophobic is bad enough but being pinned down must be much, much worse.  Being at least able to move your limbs would ease some of the torture.

In a situation like that I wouldn’t imagine you get much warning of what is coming - in most cases if it’s an earthquake then there will be a rumble and some shaking before the buildings start to tumble down.  Then I would imagine you will probably pass out and awake in your new dark home.

So from that point of view it’s not so bad, at least you don’t have much time to think and worry beforehand - all the thinking and worrying will come later when you realise you are trapped and your situation won’t change until either your body gives out or rescuers manage to reach you in time.

I hadn’t given it much thought, but there are other situations where the opposite is true, in that all the thinking comes beforehand.

A boy of just 16 jumped to his death from a 10th floor flat in Glasgow this week after his flat had caught fire and he had become trapped.  With nowhere else to go, he had taken the only exit available to him in order to escape the flames and smoke.

What must have gone through his mind, and how bad must it have been in that flat to make a 10 floor drop an attractive proposition?

It must have been hellish.

The worst part is that the fall didn’t kill him, but neither did it do his escape act any good either as he later died from his injuries.  Not only did the poor soul have to go through the torment of being trapped in the burning flat while trying to decide whether to jump or not, he also then had to endure the agony of the extremely serious injuries such a jump inflicted on his body.  Thankfully his suffering wasn’t for long.

Of course, now that I come to think about it we also saw this during the 9/11 attacks - in fact that was the worst part I think.  For the non-squeamish plenty of videos of this have been uploaded to YouTube.

Watching the news coverage was like watching a film - it could have so easily all been special effects made up on some high powered computer.  In the initial reports there was no real human involvement either, it was just a plane and a building.  It wasn’t until we started to see things rain down from the upper floors that the cameras started to look a bit more closer, and it was only then that we saw these things were people.

People who had set off to work as normal that day, only to be thrust into a situation so bad that jumping from the tallest building in the world to a certain but hopefully relatively quick death was favourable to staying put and suffering things which were unimaginable in the fires which were consuming the building.

I don’t think anyone can really comprehend what it must be like to be in a situation like this, and we should all hope we never have the misfortune to find out.