Texas Man Survives Trench Collapse

A tragic outcome was avoided, but there is yet another safety lesson to be learned from the recent incident — especially since the survivor was hesitant to enter the trench

Texas Man Survives Trench Collapse

(Photo from Spring Fire Department)

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A recent trench collapse incident in Texas had a happy outcome, but it once again highlighted the dangers of overlooking trench safety measures. The worker who survived even had misgivings about entering the trench in the first place, according to media reports.

“I’ve never been that scared in my life,” Chris Gerhardt, 27, told Click2Houston.

Gerhardt was part of a two-person crew repairing a sewer line on May 14 in Harris County, Texas. When the backhoe operator told him to go into the trench to inspect the line, he told Click2Houston that he was uncertain about it because the ground appeared unstable.

“I expressed multiple times that I was concerned about it. He told me we had to get it done, basically,” Gerhardt told Click2Houston.

Gerhardt entered the trench and almost immediately one wall collapsed, burying him up to his chest. Not long after, a second wall collapsed.

“I thought for that split second that was it. That freaked me out,” Gerhardt told Click2Houston.

Firefighters arrived quickly but first had to wait for shoring equipment to stabilize the trench before beginning to dig. It took nearly six hours before they were able to free Gerhardt.

“He’s pretty lucky to be alive,” Mike Gosselin, a firefighter with the Klein Volunteer Fire Department, told Click2Houston. “That easily could have collapsed and that’s why we took our time because the wall behind him was very unstable; easily could have collapsed and fell down on top of him.”

Source: Click2Houston


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