Dirt wall collapses, traps worker in trench for hours

December 07, 1993

A dirt wall collapsed yesterday and trapped a worker in a trench at Chinquapin Round Road and Forest Drive for more than two hours.

Edmund F. Parker, 34, was pinned at the knees beneath a boulder-sized clump of dirt when city and county firefighters arrived about 11 a.m., said Capt. Leonard Clark, a spokesman for the city Fire Department.

Mr. Parker apparently entered the hole, which was 8 feet deep and 10 feet square, before it had been properly shored up.

A spokesman for the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration said his agency is investigating the accident.

After an employee at an nearby gas station heard Mr. Parker's calls for help and called 911, a unit of county firefighters specially trained to respond to cave-ins stabilized the walls of the trench and rescued Mr. Parker, who said he was an employee of Grounds Irrigation Technology, a Bowie-based subcontractor.

Mr. Parker was driven to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center about 1:30 p.m., where he was treated and released.

City officials said Grounds Irrigation Technology has been hired by the county Department of Public Works to connect city and county water lines.

Neither county officials nor anyone with Grounds Irrigation Technology could be reached for comment yesterday.

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