Trench collapse sends one to hospital - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Trench collapse sends one to hospital

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

A trench collapses...pinning a man underneath.
The accident happened on a construction site near Lincoln Elementary on Cedar Bend Street in Waterloo.

The two men who were in the trench at the time of the collapse had luck on their side.

 "It could have been much worse."
The men were working on a storm drain, part of the Iowa Flood Project, when a piece of the old road collapsed, pinning a man underneath.
But quick thinking on the part of his co-workers saved his life.

"The other people he was working with; there was an excavator right next to it. They pulled it up there and were able to lift the chunk of concrete and pulled it off of him. Which in itself is kind of dangerous, but it worked out really well for that individual," said Waterloo Fire and Rescue Battalion Chief Mike Moore.

This drastically cut down the time it took for fire and rescue to get to the man and get him the medical attention he needed.

First responders say he is very lucky to be alive.

"There was two guys in that hole when it collapsed and both of them are pretty luck to be alive. The last trench collapse we had here in Waterloo, that person was not lucky and died," said Moore.

This time of rescue is not something every fire station is equipped to handle.
 "We're pretty lucky we have it here, it takes some specialized equipment and a lot of training. In fact, I would rather fight a hundred fires than work a trench collapse," said Moore.

 KWWL did reach out to Ricklefs Construction, the company who is contracted for the project, but we have not heard from them yet. 
 KWWL spoke with OSHA's Iowa Department, they told me they are aware of the incident and do investigate all work related accidents where a worker is hospitalized. 

A public search of OSHA's records show Ricklefs Construction has no prior citations.

The man was sent to Iowa City with what is said to be non-life threatening injuries.

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