A construction worker is recovering at home after being buried in a trench Wednesday.
He was laying sewer pipe when the trench collapsed, burying him about eight feet, according to the Indianapolis Fire Department.
Firefighters quickly started digging, while others commandeered materials from the construction site and established rudimentary shoring for the trench, officials said in a statement on the IFD Facebook page.
After five minutes, crews were able to create a hole large enough for fresh air to enter the space where they believed man was located. Within 20 minutes, they had the man’s head completely uncovered.
“The aggressive actions of the 4 members from IFD EG43 and LD43, clearly gave this victim the best chance at survival and prevented critical injury,” fire officials said.
He advised he was OK, but the dirt was heavy and he couldn’t feel his legs. Firefighters said he remained calm throughout the rescue operation.
Removal of the dirt in its muddy, compact and heavy state proved the biggest hurdle along with the continued need to build out and adjust shoring efforts as dirt was removed from the trench.
The additional manpower from the Hancock County Technical Rescue Team, the use of shovels, hand tools, an air knife and the Greenfield Vac Truck, were vital to the successful completion of this mission.
IFD Collapse Rescue Team crews rotated in and out of the trench in 20-30 minute increments and were assisted in the rotation by the Hancock County team.
The worker assisted rescuers with removing dirt from around his body, both by hand and with a shovel. After three hours and 23 minutes, he was freed.