Wash. FFs recover body after construction worker killed in trench collapse

It took Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority and the Renton Regional Fire Authority firefighters nearly eight hours to recover the man's body


Helena Wegner
The Charlotte Observer

RENTON, Wash. — A construction worker died when the trench he was inside of collapsed, rescuers in Washington said.

Firefighters from Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority and the Renton Regional Fire Authority arrived at the scene in Renton Wednesday to find a man mostly buried under 10 feet of dirt. They could see only his upper body in the 20-foot-deep trench, Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority Division Chief Pat Pawlak told McClatchy News.

It took rescuers nearly eight hours to recover the man’s body, he said. They first had to set up side walls in the unstable trench before they could get in there.

“It was a very long recovery, and it was done very safely and very methodically to make sure we maintain firefighter safety,” Pawlak said.

Pawlak said it’s unclear what the man was doing in the trench.

The trench collapse will be investigated by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, he said.

Renton is about 10 miles southeast of Seattle.

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