Firefighters Aid Construction Workers Hurt in Pennsylvania Wall Collapse

READING, Pa. (AP) -- Two construction workers were trapped when a 20-by-20-foot section of wall of a home they were building collapsed, officials said.

The workers from Creekside Builders of Lancaster were among a group of six men putting the wooden exterior wall in place at the site in Exeter Township, Berks County.

Thomas L. Reese, a Verizon employee working on a pole about 100 yards away when the accident occurred around noon Wednesday, said he heard a loud crash quickly followed by screams.

``When I got there, one of the guys was already out, one guy had been thrown into the basement and two others were still underneath (the wall),'' Reese said. The worker who was thrown into the basement was the least injured, he said.

Reese and the other construction workers lifted the weight of the wall off of Michael Wagner, the owner of the building company, and the other trapped worker, who was not immediately identified. The uninjured workers used scrap lumber to brace the wall to prevent it from crushing the two men, Reese said.

``The guys told me they were trying to raise the wall Amish style - you know, pushing it up by hand and with poles - and I guess it didn't work out for them,'' Reese said.

Firefighters and rescue workers arrived and were able to raise the wall further, allowing the trapped men to escape from underneath, said Lt. Steven M. Rhoads of the Stonersville Fire Co.

Wagner suffered a leg fracture and was hospitalized in fair condition. The other trapped worker had a broken ankle, and a third worker injured his arm, Exeter Township patrolman David M. Bentz said. Their names were not released and their conditions were not available.