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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Man rescued from trench

  • Firefighters rescued a man who had become partially buried when a trench caved in Wednesday afternoon in north Leavenworth.
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  • Firefighters rescued a man who had become partially buried when a trench caved in Wednesday afternoon in north Leavenworth.
    The incident was reported around 2:45 p.m. Wednesday at 207 N. Esplanade St. A crew of six people apparently had been digging dirt away from a concrete retaining wall, according to Leavenworth Assistant Fire Chief Mike Lingenfelser.
    "They said they were almost done and it collapsed," Lingenfelser said.
    One of the workers become trapped. It initially was reported the man, whose name was not immediately released, was buried in dirt up to his waist.
    Lingenfelser said the man apparently was able to partially self-extricate himself because the dirt on top was loose.
    The man was still buried up to his mid-thigh s when firefighters arrived, and he couldn't pull his legs out of the dirt. He was in a crouched position, and pinned against the concrete wall, according to Lingenfelser.
    "He was conscious and talking to us," Lingenfelser said.
    It took firefighters about 45 minutes to rescue the man from the trench. Lingenfelser said firefighters have to follow safety procedures. The assistant chief said no one else goes into a collapsed trench until shoring and safety equipment is in place.
    After the man was freed from the dirt, he was able to climb up a ladder with assistance from firefighters. He was wearing a harness when he climbed the ladder.
    The man then was taken to the hospital. Firefighters said a condition known as crush syndrome could have posed a medical threat to the man after his rescue.
    Lingenfelser said members of the Leavenworth Fire Department train for these type of rescues on an annual basis.
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