Watch Dramatic Trench Rescue Operation in Virginia

The man was trapped in chest deep mud for more than eight hours.


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FALLS CHURCH,Va. (WUSA9) -- Fairfax Fire and Rescue crews saved a man who was trapped, at some moments, up to his chest with thick, heavy mud and soil in a trench in Falls Church Thursday afternoon.

Authorities said the rescue team responded to the 7400 block of Venice Street in Falls Church, Va. at 3:50 p.m. They were finally able to pull the man out more than eight hours later, just after midnight. He was taken to the hospital in serious condition.

The man got stuck in the trench after some of the workers were doing some plumbing work in the front of the house and the trench collapsed.

It was not just a matter of going in, grabbing the man and pulling him out. The way the victim was positioned combined with the unstable ground made difficult to rescue him.

Rescue crews would often make progress only to have more soil collapse around the man.

Fairfax County Fire Chief Richard Bowers said it was an extremely difficult and delicate rescue, that the mud was the texture of wet cement.

An investigation is expected into the plumbing job that was being conducted that lead to the man being trapped.