The Washington Post

Worker trapped in trench dies

Update, 9 p.m.:

The construction worker who died after being trapped in a trench suffered fatal “compression injuries” when about a ton of heavy, wet clay fell on the worker, D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said.

About 75 rescuers and a dog were involved in the rescue attempt for about two and a half hours. When they reached the man, medics were able to use an EKG, which showed no signs of life, Piringer said.

The incident happened in the yard of a three-story home that is under construction.

The accident is under investigation, Piringer said.

Update, 8:30 p.m.:

The construction worker who was trapped in a trench has died, D.C. fire departments officials said Thursday night.

The body is still buried in the trench and the operation has become a recovery effort, said fire department spokesman Pete Piringer.

Update, 7:45 p.m.:

The trapped construction worker remained almost completely buried in a trench 12 to 15 feet deep, and about 20 feet long, authorities said Thursday night.

Fire officials said they think the man was crushed by clay and dirt and the trench collapsed and pinned most of his body under earth.

Rescuers could see the top of his head, fire/rescue department spokesman Pete Piringer said, and rescue dogs indicated the man was alive.

The worker is not communicating with rescuers, but medics have been able to reach him inside the trench and are trying to monitor his condition until he can be removed from the trench.


A construction worker was trapped in a trench Thursday when clay and dirt collapsed on the worker in Northeast Washington, D.C. Fire officials said.

A crew was working outside a home in the 1200 block of Evarts Street when dirt fell in the trench about 5 p.m., said Pete Piringer, a spokesman. Firefighters were trying a “technical rescue” to remove a large amount of dirt to free the worker, who was ‘‘almost completely buried’’ in the accident, authorities said.

It was not immediately clear whether the worker was conscious or if his life was endangered. Authorities shut down 12th Street between Rhode Island Avenue and Franklin Street due to the incident.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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