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Calgary worker buried after northwest trench collapse

Emergency crews were dispatched to help uncover a worker buried under significant debris in a northwest Calgary worksite incident.

At approximately 10:45 a.m on June 8, Calgary 911 dispatchers received a call reporting that a private contractor working on a sewer line was buried under a large volume of earth while working in a back-alley trench in the 2600 block of 34 Avenue NW, in the Calgary neighbourhood of Charleswood.

A man in his 20s who works for a private plumbing company had gone down a ladder into a hole that was dug the day before, according to fire officials.

Carol Henke, public information officer with the Calgary Fire Department said on Thursday that crews are working tirelessly to uncover the worker.

“Our fire crews were dispatched, our technical rescue team was dispatched, and frantic efforts were made to get him out,” Henke said.

Henke pointed out that the sheer mass on top of the worker is making it difficult to uncover the victim. Firefighters tried to move the sandy soil and parts of the cinder block retaining wall but realized they needed additional equipment.

“At the moment we are waiting for an excavator to come in and remove some of that earth so we can then get him out,” Henke said.

Two occupational health and safety investigators from the province are on site and have started their incident investigation. CPS was also there to conduct an investigation.

The back alleyway where the incident happened has been cordoned off while the rescue efforts continue.

“We really hope that people can cooperate with our presence here because our fire crews are trying their best to get him out,” Henke said.

Henke said that parts of the retaining wall have been removed so they don’t fall on the incident scene.

“The sad part is, typically in these types of incidents, the outcome is not a positive one and not one we would hope for,” she said.

A track hoe and dump trucks arrived at the scene to excavate the area late Thursday afternoon.

The worker’s body was recovered late Thursday night.