Worker rescued from collapsed trench in South Park - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Worker rescued from collapsed trench in South Park

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SAN DIEGO (CNS/News 8) - A trench collapse in a South Park-area neighborhood left a man partially buried Tuesday until emergency crews were able to free him more than an hour later.

The construction accident in front of a home in the 1800 block of 29th Street occurred about 4:15 p.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

"It was a great outcome for us," said Deputy Chief Perry Peake of San Diego Fire-Rescue. "Trench collapse incidents often have victims that are not salvageable."

The victim apparently was not seriously injured, though he was stuck up to his chest in dirt, the department's Lee Swanson said.

"His legs were folded back behind him, and a shovel he was using was between his legs, complicating the rescue," Peake added.

Firefighters shored up the roughly 8-foot-deep channel to prevent further collapses, then used shovels and trowels to dig out the man, who was conscious and able to speak throughout the ordeal, Swanson said.

The crews used a hoist rig to pull the man out of the trench, getting him onto solid ground about 5:30 p.m., Swanson said. Medics took him to UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest for an evaluation.

"Trench collapses and confined space rescues claim more rescuers' lives than any other type of incident," Peake said.

It was not immediately clear why the trench was being excavated.

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