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Man buried alive when trench collapsed at new home construction site in Orchard Lake

Construction and fire crews rescued him
Posted at 7:13 PM, Oct 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-23 19:13:45-04

ORCHARD LAKE, Mich. (WXYZ) — A trench collapse nearly cost a man his life Wednesday. The victim, who has not yet been identified, was buried alive while working to connect a new house being built to the sewer.

It happened in a 15-foot-deep trench at a new house construction site on Cherry Hill Drive in Orchard Lake. Firefighters say they arrived in a matter of minutes and found all the construction workers on scene working together to get the man out.

“Fortunately his coworkers reacted very quickly,” said Chief Gregory Flynn of the West Bloomfield Fire Department.

The man’s injuries are described as critical. It's unknown just how many pounds of dirt were on top of him. Firefighters say he was conscious when paramedics took him from the scene.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating how this happened. There were multiple companies out doing work when it happened. Firefighters say they did not know which company he worked with and construction crews on scene had no comment.

Firefighters say this accident should motivate all construction workers to follow guidelines for safety when working in trenches.