Abels & Annes

Work injury accident in Chicago sends two construction workers to hospital after trench collapse

In Chicago, Illinois two construction workers were injured on the job Sunday after a trench collapsed.

Fire crews spent four hours digging the two men out of the trench after the sides collapsed, trapping them, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Chicago construction accident trapped the men up to their waist in dirt at the bottom of a six-foot-deep hole in an alley on North Dover Street after the sides collapsed about 2 p.m., according to a fire department spokesman.

A special collapse and rescue squad responded to the incident. One man was pulled from the trench at 4 p.m. and taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in serious condition, but his injuries were not life threatening, the fire department reported.

The second worker, a 28-year-old man, was pulled from the trench at about 6 p.m. and also taken to Illinois Masonic with serious-to-critical personal injuries.

The Chicago Tribune reported the work accident occurred at a condominium building. The Tribune reported one of the workers attempted to help support the wall to keep the other man from being buried until help arrived.

Firefighters first had to shore up the trench to ensure it wouldn’t collapse on them before digging the trapped man out by hand after the first worker was rescued.

The workers were installing a sewage flood-control system for the building, according to the Tribune. The city’s Department of Buildings and the Occupational Safety & Hazard Administration was called to the scene to investigate the incident.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates about 70 construction workers are killed in excavation cave-ins each year and more than 700 are injured. An OSHA approved course on trench safety is available at www.trenchsafety.org.