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Construction worker recovering after fall into trench in Burbank

March 18, 2013
  • Burbank firefighters rescue the man, 50, after he fell into the trench on Friday.
Burbank firefighters rescue the man, 50, after he fell… ( Peter Hendrickson,…)

A 50-year-old construction worker is recovering from severe injuries to his legs after falling into a 12-foot dirt trench while working on the city’s reservoir renovation on Friday in Burbank,  officials said.

Just after 10:30 a.m., the man – who works for J.F. Shea Construction, an independent contractor hired by the city – was repairing a 24-inch underground water main when he fell into the dirt trench that stretched across Sunset Canyon Drive, said Burbank Fire Capt. Peter Hendrickson.

Two engines, a fire truck and a rescue ambulance responded to the rescue mission, which Hendrickson called a “risky operation.”

“There’s always a risk of the collapse a sidewall while we’re in there,” Hendrickson said. “The dirt could fall in on our rescuers.”

The trench was 12-feet deep and 6-feet wide.

Firefighters and paramedics lowered a rescue basket – clipped to a rope – to the crew inside the trench, strapped the victim in and lifted him out. The rescue took roughly an hour.

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“Everything was done slowly with ropes and knots, because we have more control over it that way,” Hendrickson said.

After he was lifted out of the trench, the man was transported to the hospital for treatment, having likely sustained a broken right leg and left ankle, Hendrickson said. The victim was not identified.

A spokesman for the construction company on Monday declined to comment on the condition of the victim, or how he fell, noting that the investigation is ongoing.

No other injuries were reported, Hendrickson said.

-- Alene Tchekmedyian, Times Community News

Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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