JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (CBS4) – Loveland Fire Rescue Authority says a construction worker died after a trench collapsed at a home construction site near Johnstown. The collapsed happened at around 3:45 p.m. on Friday.
Firefighters say three other men were trying to save the fourth worker who was under water. Firefighters ordered them out of the excavation hole for fear they, too, could be trapped.READ MORE: Female Bicyclist Killed By Car In Lakewood, Driver Arrested For Impaired Driving
The men were trying to connect a domestic sewer pipe to the public sewer main. They used a “sump-type device” to remove water from the hole. The trench then partially collapsed while water continued to flow into the hole.
Crews arrived within minutes to the scene and set up for a trench rescue. They describe the hole as about 25 feet deep and 30 feet wide at the top, but funneled down to about 5 feet in width.READ MORE: Alleged U.S. Capitol Rioter Patrick Montgomery Faces Arrest After Hunting Mountain Lion
“Early into the incident, responders transitioned to a recovery operation due to the continued collapse threat and constant ground water flow. The configuration of the excavated hole did not allow rescue shoring to be utilized to secure the walls of the hole. On site heavy equipment was utilized to enlarge the excavation site to allow rescuers to access the victim. The vacuum truck and small pumps were used to remove water from the work area as crews attempted to recover the victim,” Loveland fire officials said.
At around 11 p.m., crews removed the worker’s body. He has not been identified.
Fire officials urged contractors to use trench boxes and other protection.MORE NEWS: Michael Curran Arrested For Stealing Jeep With 1-Year-Old Child Inside
“It’s more time and effort, but what they don’t see is the outcome if they don’t use these safety devices,” LFRA Battalion Chief Tim Smith.