Trending Topics

San Francisco FFs spent 2 hours trying to save worker in trench collapse

A worker was buried under 10 feet of dirt and concrete in a utility construction site collapse


San Francisco Fire Department/Twitter

By Andrew Chamings

SAN FRANCISCO — A utility worker in San Francisco died Thursday after being trapped under 8 feet of dirt and concrete when a trench collapsed at a work site on the 1100 block of Oak Street.

A two-hour rescue attempt involving around 50 firefighters trying to reach and save the victim failed, the San Francisco Fire Department said.

The accident was first reported in a 911 call received by SFFD at around 10 a.m. that mistakenly reported that a building had collapsed on the corner of Oak Street and Divisadero, Lt. Jonathan Baxter of SFFD told reporters at the scene Thursday.

“This was not a building collapse. This was a streetside utility construction site that had a collapse within the footprint of their streetside project,” Baxter said. “One individual who was working on this project site was trapped under an estimated 8 to 10 feet of dirt and concrete. ... San Francisco Fire Department initiated a trench rescue operation at this site. It took over two hours and over 50 firefighters working together to effectively reach the individual [and] evaluate the individual for signs of life.”

SFFD confirmed the death on social media at around noon. The victim’s identity has not been shared by authorities.

“Rescuers on scene at Oak and Divisadero have reached the victim and confirmed the rescue has transitioned into recovery,” the department wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “SF Medical Examiner is on scene and the cause of the incident will be under investigation.”

(c)2023 SFGate, San Francisco
Visit SFGate, San Francisco at
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.