2 Workers Die in Ill. Trench Collapse
Two construction workers died Monday in a dirt and clay trench that collapsed around them at a sewage treatment plant in southern Illinois.
Rescue crews dug for hours, mostly by hand, to reach the two men in the trench that was 8 to 10 feet deep, said Brian Donley, a deputy chief for the St. Clair Special Emergency Services.
Special equipment was used to support the trench, allowing crews to enter it, he said. By they time they reached both victims, they were dead. One body was recovered about six hours after the 3 p.m. collapse, and crews were still working to retrieve the second victim.
"We went at it as a full-blown rescue," Donley said. "It's still a lot of hand excavating."
The trench caved in during construction to install a new sewer line. Donley said the cause of the collapse wasn't immediately determined.
Followell Construction, the main contractor on the work, said the trapped workers were from a subcontractor.
Officials from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration were investigating.
The plant is in the village of Millstadt, about 15 miles south of St. Louis.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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