- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

HERMOSA, S.D. (AP) - Two workers in western South Dakota were rescued Wednesday after being trapped for hours when a trench they were digging for a sewer collapsed.

A 31-year-old man was pulled out about 4:15 p.m. and taken by ambulance to Rapid City Regional Hospital, the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/1QyOfZF ) reported. About 45 minutes later, the second man, who is 63, was removed from the ground. He was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

The men were digging the trench in Hermosa, about 20 miles south of Rapid City, when the embankment collapsed around noon, trapping them up to their waists. They were conscious and talking while they were in the trench, but authorities were concerned about crushing injuries that the workers may have suffered.

Rescuers slowly dug the men out of the trench, sometimes using a jackhammer and other times bucket-by-bucket.

Rapid City Fire Department spokesman Oliver White had said the use of an excavator could cause a total collapse of the trench that’s 12 feet deep and 10 feet wide.

Authorities didn’t release the workers’ names. One had said while trapped that he was worried because he couldn’t feel his lower extremities.

Rescuers worked during the afternoon to build a flat surface for solid footing and to find an area to dump the dirt to avoid putting more pressure in the area.

First responders from at least five agencies responded to the scene.


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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