OSHA investigating after trench collapse in Oakwood sends two workers to the hospital

OSHA investigating after trench collapse in Oakwood sends two workers to the hospital (WKEF/WRGT)

OAKWOOD, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - A work trench in Oakwood has been sealed up after it collapsed Thursday afternoon, sending two workers to the hospital.

It happened on Northview Road just after 1:30 p.m.

"Police cars and ambulances pulling in front of my house and driveway," said Mark Stoecklein, who lives right next to the trench.

Stoecklein said there had not been any issues with the city's dig until Thursday. He said they were working on a water line after basements in the area had been flooding.

A 911 call was made to Oakwood dispatchers after one man became trapped in the trench up to his waist when a wall collapsed.

Rescue crews on scene were able to talk to him 6 feet down.

"The biggest challenges you don't want to make a bad situation worse, so I mean it's a slow methodical process," said Oakwood public safety Chief Alan Hill.

The Ohio Region Three Rescue Strike Team was called in, a tactical response trained to rescue people from collapsed buildings and trenches.

"We've got to make sure that we don't do anything to cause any more injury to the person who is trapped, but we have to protect every single rescuer who is involved in the rescue," said Chief Hill.

The rescue crew worked tirelessly for about two hours, fighting snow and potentially unstable ground.

Finally, they were able to get a ladder safely to the man trapped inside, for him to pull himself out.

He was then rushed to a local hospital.

Police said another worker was hospitalized after he tried to help rescue his coworker.

Thankfully, both men were alert and talking when they were rescued.

"Quick recognition when these incidents to occur, calling 911 gets a rescuers there as soon as possible, that's usually what makes an outcome positive," said Michael Guadagno of the Strike Team.

Now, OSHA is investigating the safety of the site, and workers filled the trench in for the night.

"Glad to hear everyone is out, Oakwood takes care of us and we like our workers," said Stoecklein.

Oakwood officials did not have an update on the condition of the two workers late Thursday night. They were also not releasing their names.

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