Kansas City firefighters rescued a 40-year-old man trapped when a trench collapsed Wednesday at an apartment complex in Kansas City.
Firefighters rushed to the scene about 11:30 a.m. after receiving a call that a construction worker was trapped up to his waist inside a trench at the East Hills Village Apartments in the 7600 block of Monroe Avenue.
When firefighters arrived, they contacted the worker, who was conscious. He was in a 10-foot-deep trench in about 4 feet of dirt or mud, said Deputy Chief James Garrett, a spokesman for the Kansas City Fire Department.
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For a little more than 2 1/2 hours, firefighters worked to free the man, finally pulling him from the trench about 2:15 p.m.
When crews arrived on the scene, firefighters scrambled to shore up the most dangerous wall of the trench, which allowed them to get inside the trench with the worker, Garrett said. During the rescue, crews provided the worker with oxygen and IV fluids. They also treated him for hypothermia and several cuts.
Throughout the rescue, firefighters worked to shore up the remaining wall of the trench. The debris was hindering the worker’s breathing. At one point, firefighters gave the man a shovel so that he could help dig himself out.
By about 2 p.m., firefighters were able to dig around the victim and clear out the dirt to about his ankles, Garrett said. But because of the way he was situated in the hole, firefighters were unable to pull him out.
About 15 minutes later, firefighters freed the worker, who was repairing an underground line at the time of the collapse, and pulled him to safety. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.