Surviving victim rescued, body recovered from trench

Surviving victim rescued, body recovered from trench
Published: Jun. 11, 2015 at 7:03 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2015 at 7:03 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two hours after rescuing the survivor of a trench collapse in southwestern Jefferson County, crews recovered the body of the worker who was killed.

Two workers who were digging a trench for sewer pipes became trapped when the dirt piled next to them gave way in the 13600 block of Dixie Highway at 2:23 p.m.

The surviving worker was trapped under eight feet of dirt and concrete, said Louisville Metro Police Department spokeswoman Alicia Smiley.

Pleasure Ridge Park Assistant Fire Chief Dan Vanover said the victim was trapped by debris from his waist down.

"His legs had a slab, smaller slab of concrete lying on it, so we then had to work to get that off," Vanover said.

"He just kept saying he was ready to get out of the hole. That's pretty much all he would say, but when we asked him questions on how he was doing, where he was from, he would answer all of that," PRP Fire Captain Shannon Dossy said.

With highs in the 90s, firefighters kept an eye on the temperature. They set up tents to keep cool. Crews put a fan on the victim, provided water and tried to keep him calm as they slowly dug down to his feet.

Fire officials said the victim was in such good shape that he helped dig himself out.

"He's extremely lucky. Extremely lucky," Vanover said.

The crew performing the rescue worked to secure the trench before jumping in to prevent further injury. After being stuck for nearly five hours, the surviving victim was rescued shortly before 7 p.m.

"He climbed out himself, up the ladder and that's not normal,” Dossy said. “He's lucky.”

The surviving man was taken by an ambulance to receive treatment. The deceased worker's body was recovered shortly before 9 p.m.

Smiley said the men worked for a contractor out of Tennessee and were installing sewer pipes when the floor collapsed in the trench box.

The names of the victims have not been released.

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