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Utah worker rescued after 10-foot-deep ditch collapses, burying him up to his chin in backyard



A Utah worker is lucky to be alive after a 10-foot-deep trench caved in while digging in his backyard on Tuesday, burying his jaw, officials said.

American Fork Battalion Chief Justin Whatcott told producers that firefighters responded to a trench collapse at a Cedar Hills home around 1:10 p.m. when three contract workers Sewer work is being done for homeowners.

Emergency crews arrived to find two workers trying to dig out the 20-year-old male victim, whose jaw was buried in dirt and debris.

Rescue crews set up trench supports to secure the area, and the Utah Valley Metro Special Response Team used vacuum trucks to remove dirt and debris from around the victims, a process that “took quite a while,” Whatcott said.

“I think our victim was very lucky,” the battalion chief said, “and I think our crews did a very good and quick job of getting him out.”

The 20-year-old male victim was buried up to his chin in the collapse. American Fork Fire and Rescue

Whatcott said the man was conscious throughout the rescue mission.

After being successfully mined, the man was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries. No update on the victim’s condition or identity was immediately released.

It’s unclear what caused the trench to collapse. Whatcott said an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) team will investigate.

Rescuers used special equipment to stabilize the trench and free buried victims. American Fork Fire and Rescue
Officials said the three contract workers were working on a sewer lateral for a homeowner. American Fork Fire and Rescue

The incident occurred less than a week after a backhoe operator was buried alive for 12 hours when a pit collapsed in Tennessee.

Last month, a 7-year-old Indiana girl was on vacation in Florida with her family when a 5- to 6-foot-deep sand hole they dug on the beach with her brother collapsed, completely burying her and killing her.



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