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Person freed, hospitalized after trench collapse at Garden of the Gods Road construction site

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM MDT|Updated: Oct. 20, 2021 at 1:27 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Firefighters have freed a construction worker trapped by a trench collapse Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were first called to the 1900 block of West Garden of the Gods Road at 9:20 a.m.

“We were dispatched to report of a possible trench collapse. That means basically they were digging, putting in some utilities underground, and some of the dirt might’ve fallen in on somebody that was working in there,” said Colorado Springs Fire Department spokesperson Capt. Mike Smaldino.

After assessing the scene, Fort Carson’s Heavy Rescue Team was called to assist.

“We train with them quite a bit, and so it adds some technical hands for us,” Smaldino said.

The firefighters worked methodically for the next hour to safely extricate the worker from the trench.

“We don’t want to just rush in there. Because you don’t know how things get trapped when dirt falls. What you think might be somebody standing up and down, they might actually have a leg that’s pushed out to the side that we can’t find, so you just don’t want to go digging around in there until you find out where the individual is.”

Paramedics were able to treat the worker for some of his injuries during the extrication process.

“What we can do is put somebody in there and actually start treating, so as we were getting into the hole we already had our fire paramedics, they were treating the individual from up top. Start an IV, started giving pain meds and basically monitoring vital signs,” Smaldino said.

The victim was trapped up to his thighs, largely in dirt but also in some other debris. He was finally freed by about 10:30 a.m. and rushed to the hospital for potential trauma to his legs.

“Obviously, as dirt would come up if they were trapped further and further into their body you start worry about other things. An injury that might be compartment syndrome so it might be a crushing injury but as soon as we start relieving some of that dirt and a pressure we might actually have internal bleeding that’s why I can’t say what all the injuries are,” Smaldino said.

The construction site was on the property of Keysight Technologies a few blocks east of 30th Street. The company sent the following statement to 11 News:

“Keysight is thankful that no one was seriously injured as the safety of everyone working at our sites is of utmost importance. The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.”

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