- The Washington Times - Friday, March 25, 2011

A construction worker was killed Thursday after a large amount of clay-like dirt fell on him at a work site on Evarts Street in Northeast, a D.C. fire official said.

Fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said about 75 fire and rescue workers conducted a three-hour attempt to save the man. The call came shortly after 5 p.m. from a house under construction, where workers were doing utility work in a trench out front, he said.

Mr. Piringer said the wet, heavy dirt had collapsed around the man, leaving a space around his upper torso.

“We saw the top of his head, but he was slumped over and not communicating,” he said. “We couldn’t see his face.”

Crews considered it a rescue operation for two-plus hours, sending a search dog to check for signs of life and then a camera, according to Mr. Piringer. Eventually, a medic was able to hook the man up to heart-monitoring equipment and find he had succumbed to his injuries.

The man’s body was pulled out close to midnight, Mr. Piringer said.

The D.C. Department of Transportation assisted at the scene, located off North Capitol Street south of Michigan Avenue; the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs and Occupational Safety and Health also responded.

Metropolitan Police did not have the man’s name Friday morning.