Virginia Construction Worker Rescued After Trench Collapse

Units found a man trapped up to his waist in dirt in a hole about 10 feet deep


A construction worker has been rescued after a trench collapsed in Fairfax County Tuesday.

Just before noon, Fairfax County Fire and Rescue and Arlington County Fire and Rescue responded to the report of a trench collapse at a construction site in the 6100 block of Franklin Park Road, authorities said. Units found a man trapped up to his waist in dirt in a hole about 10 feet deep.

The construction workers were working around a home foundation. They dug the trench, and the walls gave way, trapping one worker. His coworkers had unsuccessfully tried to remove him.

The worker was given oxygen while firefighters shored up the hole and removed dirt. Rescue workers lowered Fairfax rescue technician Diron Powell into the cramped space to put a harness on the worker and pull him out. He was then put on a harness and pulled out of the hole after being trapped for more than two hours.

"He just wanted out," Powell said. "His legs at the time were numb. He was just cold from being in the dirt."

It was the first rescue for Powell, who said time was of the essence

"Because you have things like hypothermia that can set in because the dirt is wet, cold and muddy," he said.

The worker was taken to INOVA Fairfax Hospital. He is expected to be OK.

OSHA workers are checking out the accident scene.

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