Philadelphia worker dies in trench collapse

Dozens of firefighters worked for hours trying to rescue the man before locating his body after a trench he was working in collapsed


By Michael Boren
Philly.com

PHILADELPHIA — A plumber died after a trench he was working in collapsed late Thursday morning in the city’s Oak Lane section, a Fire Department spokeswoman said.

The man, whom authorities have not officially identified, and two others were working underground at a private residence along the 100 block of West Walnut Park Drive when dirt and concrete fell into their work area around 11:15 a.m., authorities said. Two of the workers escaped, but the third was trapped.

“The body has been found, but we are still working to remove it,” Fire Department spokeswoman Kathy Matheson said early Thursday evening.

Dozens of firefighters worked for hours with crews from the Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia Gas Works, and other responders in trying to rescue the man before locating his body, Matheson said.

Deputy Fire Commissioner Gary Loesch told reporters at the scene that the hole was about 15 feet deep.

“Just a few pounds of dirt can trap somebody where you can’t move at all,” he said.

Loesch said there was no danger to the rest of the neighborhood. 

Police asked news media helicopters to back away around noon because the noise was hindering rescue operations.

Copyright 2018 Philly.com

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