Firefighters rescue construction worker from trench - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Firefighters rescue construction worker from trench

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PHOENIX -

Firefighters rescued a worker who fell in a trench at 28th Avenue and Northern Avenue Saturday morning.

With these types of rescues, firefighters said Their main concern is the trench collapsing. The slightest movement or mistake and the situation can quickly turn deadly.

Around 11 a.m. Saturday, a typically bustling construction site at 28th Avenue and Northern Avenue was at a standstill as firefighters worked feverishly to rescue a 30-year-old worker who fell 8 to 10 feet into a trench.

"Some of the dirt broke away and he slipped and fell into the hole," said Jonathan Jacobs, Phoenix Fire Department Captain.

Workers watched the rescue unfold.

Traffic on Northern was shut down for about an hour and all heavy equipment was stopped in it's tracks.

"These big tractors just them vibrating on the ground can shake soil loose and we could start to have more of a collapse," said Jacobs.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), two workers are killed every month in trench collapses.

Firefighters know the dangers.

"If you fall into a trench, or we have several workers that fall into a trench, and that trench implodes on them, it comes in on the sides more than likely they're going to die," said Jacobs. "There's a very high fatality rate that comes with trenches."

Rescue ropes were dropped down the crevice.

Firefighters squeezed down the tight space and stabilized the man who was alert but complaining of numbness in his legs and hands.

"Basically, he fell 8 feet and that's a long way to fall down into a trench; there's metal shoring in the trench," said Jacobs. "We're not sure if he hit some of those things on the way down."

Close to an hour after his fall, the man was pulled to safety and wheeled into the ambulance.

The man was taken to a trauma hospital where he is listed in stable condition.

FOX 10 tried contacting the company, believed to be the man's employer, but have not heard back.

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