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Photos: Rescuers save construction worker pinned in N.J. collapse

A coordinated effort involving several departments saved a construction worker pinned by a foundation collapse


East Rutherford Fire Department/Facebook

By Brent Johnson

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — A construction worker was rescued and hospitalized after being trapped for nearly two hours when part of a Bergen County building under renovation collapsed Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Crews were working on the former site of the closed Railroad Cafe restaurant in East Rutherford when part of the foundation collapsed around 1:30 p.m., pinning the worker’s lower half “under dirt and concrete,” borough Police Chief Dennis Rivelli told NJ Advance Media.

Police, fire, and rescue crews responded to the scene and were able to remove the man within two hours, Rivelli said.

The worker was taken to nearby Hackensack University Medical Center with a lower bodily injury. His condition is unknown, Rivelli said.

A second man was taken to the hospital with a minor leg injury, the chief said.

Police are not releasing the identity of either worker.

Building officials said the remaining structure is “unsafe” and must be demolished, Rivelli said.

Mike Christensen, deputy chief of the Hackensack Fire Department, told News 12 New Jersey that that first responders have to make sure the building was “stabilized” before they could start removing the trapped worker.

“During the whole rescue operation, they were directly in contact with him,” Christensen said. “We did have paramedics down there with him, monitoring him the whole time.”

East Rutherford Mayor Jeffrey Lahullier told News 12 the building will be torn down by the end of Saturday evening.

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