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Construction worker rescued from Warren trench collapse

Mark Hicks
DetroitNews-Unknown

A construction worker was seriously injured Tuesday evening after a trench collapse at a Warren project site left him trapped for several hours, fire authorities reported.

The 37-year-old man was part of a team working to connect to a main water line off Van Dyke when he entered the trench without a protective box at about 7:30 p.m., Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams said. The man and his employer were not identified.

The trench subsequently collapsed and buried the man up to his waist, but a second cave-in completely covered him, McAdams said. “The worker was able to raise his head above the dirt line and fellow workers began hand digging to try and free him.”

Once called to the scene, more than a dozen fire officials spent about two hours working to remove enough dirt to clear the man’s legs. They also gave the worker oxygen and pain medication.

The man was freed at about 9:35 p.m. and rushed to Royal Oak’s Beaumont Hospital with crush injuries mainly to his lower extremities, McAdams said.

The incident underscores the need for using safety equipment, he added. “We had some heavy rain recently and the trench walls were unsupported. You should not enter any kind of trench that’s below your ankles without a safety device. A trench box is necessary.”

mhicks@detroitnews.com