Sewer Worker Saved From Collapsed Trench

Rescue crews in Nebraska needed almost seven hours to free the worker from the narrow, unstable trench

A worker in Omaha, Nebraska, was saved last week after being trapped in a collapsed trench for nearly seven hours.

According to a report in the Omaha World-Herald, 23-year-old Drew Johnson, an employee of Utility Trenching, was working on a sewer project in a trench about 12 feet deep when one side of it collapsed at 9:45 a.m. Tuesday, March 14. He was trapped up to his knees.

Wooden planks were used to stabilize the walls of the trench and rescue personnel gradually loosened and sucked dirt from the hole until Johnson was free. He was lifted from the trench at about 4:15 p.m.

“The trench was fairly unstable. They would free one foot, dirt would slough off, and it would trap him again,” one rescue worker told the Omaha World-Herald.

Johnson was listed in good condition after being transported to the hospital with foot pain.

OSHA has opened up an investigation into the incident, which must be completed within six months.

Utility Trenching has operated in the Omaha area for 15 years and has four prior OSHA violations.

Source: Omaha World-Herald


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