ARCADIA, Ind. (WISH) — Authorities in Hamilton County have freed two workers who were stuck in a collapsed trench Thursday night. It quickly became a team effort though as neighbors stepped up to help.
According to Jackson Township Fire Department Chief Jeff Muszar, two men became trapped in the trench sometime before 6 p.m. The men were working for a private contractor and digging for a sewer line in the middle of the street which had become clogged.
One of those neighbors who jumped into action was Kenny Rednour who knew both of the trapped men.
“It’s a scary thing, yes. Because I could see it in their eyes, just knowing. I’ve actually done some work like that and it is scary down in them holes,” Rednour said.
Muszar said the workers were trapped from the waist down in the trench along Maple Street in a residential neighborhood in Arcadia. The town of 1,600 is in northern Hamilton County.
“Anytime you have a trench collapse there’s obviously the potential for a secondary collapse because the ground is unstable and collapsed in the first place,” said Battalion Chief James Carter with the Jackson Township Fire Department. “So it takes them coming in, shoring, cribbing to stabilize that trench so that people can work on it and we don’t have any further collapses.”
One man was freed shortly after becoming trapped and taken to a hospital for evaluation; his condition was unknown. The second man was freed about 7:30 p.m. and airlifted to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis; he was stable.
“It was a relief, it was a relief yeah. Just let you take a deep breath,” said Rednour.
“Even if it’s at their waist, you’ve got extremity injuries, pressure being put on their vital organs that can cause long-term damage,” added Carter. “The longer they’re in there, the more extreme that can become.”
Carter said a total of seven fire departments responded including from Noblesville, Westfield and Fishers.