Worker rescued from trench at New Jersey construction site

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Monday, July 8, 2019
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Anthony Johnson has more on the worker rescued after being trapped for hours in a trench at a New Jersey construction site.

PEQUANNOCK TOWNSHIP, New Jersey (WABC) -- A worker was rescued after getting trapped for hours in a trench at a New Jersey construction site Monday morning.

The incident began around 9 a.m. behind the Knights of Columbus hall in Pequannock Township on Lincoln Park Road.

Authorities said it appeared a retaining wall gave way, falling into the trench and pinning the 61-year-old victim waist deep in rock and rubble.

"Our people specialize in confined space," Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said. "So Rescue 2 from Paterson Fire Department was on the front line, and they utilized panels, and then I understand they were going to utilize a vacuum truck to suck the rock and dirt out to remove and free the individual."

He was removed just over three hours later, after crews built a support structure to stabilize the trench.

The victim was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in stable condition as crews continued to work to restabilize the trench. Still, officials stressed the danger of being trapped in such an environment, even if the injuries appeared to under control.

"Your body is being compressed, so you have no circulation," Speziale said. "Your heart is trying to pump that circulation, so it's very dangerous. It's a very dangerous situation. That's why they work as quickly as they do."

He was said to be in good spirits the entire time he was trapped, which spanned several hours.


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