Two Rescued from Chicago Pit Collapse


Andrew L. Wang and William Lee | | Monday, August 24, 2009

The walls of a 14-foot pit at a Chicago condominium building partially collapsed Sunday afternoon, trapping one worker in sand and dirt up to his waist and forcing another worker who was in the hole with him to support the walls until help could arrive, officials said.

Chicago firefighters rescued the second worker about 5:55 p.m. He emerged covered in dirt but conscious. They pulled out the first man about 90 minutes earlier. The workers were installing a sewage flood-control system for the building, residents said.

The rescued workers were taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Neither man's injuries were life-threatening, said Quention Curtis, a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department. The city's Department of Buildings and the Occupational Safety & Hazard Administration will look into the incident, Curtis added.

Fire personnel responded about 2 p.m. to a call for help from the building in the 4400 block of North Dover Street in the Uptown neighborhood, Curtis said. Firefighters first had to shore up the pit to ensure it wouldn't collapse before digging the trapped man out by hand after the first worker was rescued.

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