On a street cluttered with debris from a mudslide rescue workers heard a noise.
The flooding and mudslides that resulted from a month's worth of rain in one day have turned the once-picturesque tourist town of Teresopolis, Brazil, about two hours north of Rio de Janeiro, into a wasteland. Bodies and belongings remain strewn among fallen boulders as relatives search for loved ones.
In one mound of rubble, a faint voice could be heard. After so many stories of sadness and loss, that voice provided more than enough hope for rescuers to begin digging quickly.
As workers began what would be a three-hour process of pulling apart mud-covered rocks and debris, journalist Luciano Zimbrano, armed with a handheld camera, began filming, according to the British newspaper The Telegraph.
His dramatic video shows a crowd forming as workers remove layer by layer of debris, first revealing an arm. Then the back of a head appears.
Rescuers and Zimbrano soon learned that a man was trapped facedown 13 feet below the mud.
Slowly rescuers reached the man, and after putting a neck brace on him, they were able to pull him from the rubble, where he had been for 16 hours. He was put onto a stretcher as onlookers cheered.
It was only then, according to the Telegraph, that Zimbrano realized he knew the man he was filming – Marcelo Fonseca.
After the rescue, from his hospital bed, Fonseca told the Telegraph of the moment right before he became trapped.
"When I opened the window I only heard that loud thud and I only had time to run," he told the Telegraph. "When I ran and reached the front door it was such a powerful thing, that I only saw some pieces of the roof flying and some pieces of wood." He became completely trapped and had trouble breathing.
"My chest was being crushed by a stone and I was trapped; my two feet were trapped," he told the newspaper.
Rescuers say because he was face down, there may have been an air pocket under him, enabling him to breathe throughout the ordeal.
The 42-year-old man, according to the newspaper, is in the intensive-care unit but is expected to make a full recovery.
The story has captivated those who have seen the video – perhaps because of the dramatic nature of it – but also because of the grim toll of the flooding and mudslides in Brazil.
Maj. Carlos Falconi told CNN that rescuers continue to find survivors but mostly those who are trapped in their houses. The government said the death toll surpassed 700 Tuesday. Falconi said he expects the number of deaths will likely reach 1,000 when search-and-rescue operations are completed.