2 Minnesota Construction Workers Die After Trench Collapses on Them

June 21, 2022

Two construction workers died after a trench collapsed on top of them in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul, and one of their bodies was found 9 feet underground roughly 12 hours later.

St. Paul Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso said firefighters finally recovered the second body around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that first man’s body was recovered the night of July 17 about six hours after firefighters found it partially protruding from the dirt.

Mokosso said a trench box that’s designed to prevent cave-ins was sitting next to where three men were working on an underground pipe before the collapse, but it wasn’t being used.

He said a third worker at the construction site tried to help the buried workers but “realized pretty quickly there was little they could do.” That worker called 911 at 2:40 p.m. July 17.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 373 trench deaths were reported nationwide between 2003 and 2017. Trench collapses are especially dangerous because even a square yard of dirt can weigh more than 3,000 pounds.

“It’s similar to drowning, but worse because of the weight,” Mokosso said..

The victims were not immediately identified by authorities.

Topics Construction Minnesota

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