Trench Collapse Kills Worker in Harbor City

Tuesday, June 21, 2005 |

On Tuesday, June 21, 2005, at 1053 A.M. PDT, fourteen companies of Los Angeles Firefighters, one Assistant Chief Officer Command Team, two Battalion Chief Officer Command Teams, one Battalion EMS Supervisor, five LAFD Rescue Ambulances, two Urban Search and Research Teams, Heavy Rescue 56, one helicopter, and other Los Angeles City agencies, under the direction of Battalion Commander Ray Olsen responded to a Trench Rescue at 1501 Palos Verdes Drive North in the Harbor City area.

First units on the scene reported three workers trapped beneath a 20’ x 40’ mobile home, in a trench approximately three feet wide and up to ten feet deep. All three workers were trapped when the walls of the trench they were digging to replace a sewer line in the mobile home park collapsed.

Two of the three workers were buried up to their waist in dirt and were successfully rescued by Firefighters using Urban Search and Rescue tools in less than twenty minutes.

An intense effort by Firefighters to rescue the third worker of “A-1 Plumbing & Heating Inc” who was completely buried under approximately two feet of dirt was unsuccessful. The thirty-two year old male victim was declared dead at the scene.

No other injuries were reported. The cause of the accident is under investigation by Cal/OSHA and City of Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety officials.


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