UPDATE @ 8:36 a.m. (March 9):
A 30-second 911 call was released by the city of Oakwood Friday.
“Wall collapsed over on the guys here in the water department,” the caller told emergency dispatchers.
We’re working to learn the injured workers’ names as well as their conditions.
A city of Oakwood worker was buried up to his waist for hours in a trench collapse Thursday that ended without serious injury to the relief of dozens of rescuers – many specially trained for just such an emergency.
The rescue resulted in “a safe and successful outcome,” said Oakwood Police/Fire Chief Alan Hill.
Emergency responders were called around 1:40 p.m. to the 200 block of Northview Road in Oakwood, where city workers were installing sewer pipes running under the street.
Rescuers from across the region answered the call, some arriving in special gear like that worn by spelunkers. They worked slowly and methodically to dig out the worker, Hill said.
“The biggest challenge is you don’t want to make a bad situation worse,” he said. “We have to make sure that not only we don’t do anything to cause more injury to the person who is trapped, but we have to protect every single rescuer who is involved in the rescue.”
At one point, rescuers put a rescue basket down into the trench but later pulled it up and instead lowered a section of ladder. About two hours after the 9-1-1 call, the man emerged from the 6-foot-deep trench and was loaded into a waiting ambulance. He was alert and talking.
He was taken to an area hospital but did not appear to be seriously injured. A second person was injured trying to help the trapped worker and also was taken to a hospital. Neither worker was identified.
“A full investigation needs to happen to determine exactly what happened within the trench. At the time we were here, obviously the walls had collapsed and he was trapped inside,” Hill said.
Two other high-profile trench collapses since 2016 were fatal.
In December 2017, a Warren County man died after being buried at least 25-30 feet underground in a trench collapse. Zachary Hess, 25, of Mason was an excavating worker at a home construction site.
A wrongful death lawsuit is moving forward in Montgomery County over the June 2016 death of James Rogers who died in a trench collapse at a Washington Twp. construction site.
In January, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Erik Blaine ruled the case can proceed without defendant Timothy Scott Dickey, who filed for Chapter 7 in Dayton’s U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
Emergency crews responded to the 200 block of Northview Road around 1:40 p.m. on a report of a trench collapse in Oakwood.
We’re working to learn more.