A construction worker died recently when a trench he was digging collapsed and buried him. The construction worker was a member of a crew assigned to dig a trench for a new water line in the parking lot of a shopping plaza known as Summit Plaza in Jersey City. According to ABC 7, the construction worker was 35-years-old when he died. Rescuers worked for over five hours to free the body of the trapped man. The worker who died in the tragic construction accident was working with his father and brother for their family business. The man’s father and brother witnessed the accident and remained on the scene.
Rescuers told ABC 7 that dirt, debris, and mud buried the construction worker fatally injured in the trench collapse. The rescuers said that the trench collapse buried the man up to his chest. There is no suggestion that the man’s head remained above the debris or that he was conscious throughout the entire ordeal. Rescue crews from the fire department needed five hours to free the man’s body. They had to secure the trench before they could dig the man out. The medical examiner arrived at the construction site and declared him deceased from his injuries. The medical examiner’s office has not released an official cause of death at this time.
Investigators from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) joined law enforcement investigators in a joint effort to determine why the trench collapsed. The crew was working on the project to install a new water line for a sprinkler system for a nearby apartment complex. OSHA investigators initially described the event as a tragic accident. However, they expressed interest in learning what role, if any, wind and rain might have played in the trench collapse.
In addition to leaving behind his father and brother, the deceased construction worker was married, and his wife is expecting their first child.
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