San Francisco Construction Worker Dies After Being Trapped Underground

Thursday afternoon, San Francisco first responders feverishly attempted to rescue a construction worker who was trapped in a trench after it collapsed in SF’s Lower Haight neighborhood

A utility employee was working below the sidewalk in San Francisco’s at Oak and Divisadero streets, performing underground work inside a freshly-opened trench today, September 28th, around 10 a.m. when the ditch collapsed. The worker wasn’t alone; five other people were also working inside the trench, though those individuals managed to escape.

Unfortunately, one worker wasn’t able to leave the trench before it crumpled completely, leaving him under at least eight feet of dirt and road material.

According to the San Francisco Fire Department, rescuers were able to reach the person after about two hours of digging through and removing the debris; unfortunately, the victim showed no signs of life upon rescue and was soon pronounced deceased by the SF Medical Examiner, who was on site.

“It took over two hours and over 50 firefighters working together to effectively reach the individual, evaluate the individual for signs of life, and unfortunately, two hours into this incident, we are naming this a fatal incident,” said fire department spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter in public comment.

Baxter confirmed that the fire department was using all available resources at the time to help save the worker; detection dogs were also deployed to the scene in order to pinpoint the man’s exact location under the debris; an industrial-sized vacuum was used to clear and remove debris, as well.

It’s unclear as to why the trench formed or how it collapsed, but SF fire crews are expected to be onsite indefinitely until repairs are finished and an investigation into the collapse is complete.

*This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information is made public

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