Plumbing company worker trapped in trench

April 17, 2007

A plumbing company employee was trapped for several hours yesterday after a trench collapsed outside a West Baltimore home, causing injuries to his legs, a city Fire Department spokesman reported. The man's identity was not available.

About 11:30 a.m., a worker for Quality Plumbing was in a 7-foot-deep, 18-foot-long trench making repairs to a sewer line leading to a house in the 2800 block of Koko Lane when a portion of one wall of the trench collapsed, trapping the man up to his knees, said Chief Kevin Cartwright, the spokesman.

Moments later, city firefighters along with collapse rescue teams from the city and Baltimore County arrived and placed wood and metal shoring devices against the trench's walls to prevent further collapses before the slow and difficult job of freeing the man could begin, Cartwright said.

During the rescue, Cartwright said the man, believed to be in his 40s, was conscious and was given oxygen and pain medication.

About six hours later, the man was freed and taken by a state police helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The incident was being investigated by the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health.

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