Firefighters rescue construction worker buried in collapsed hole

Worker trapped under dirt in 10-foot hole pulled to safety in Gainesville

Photos courtesy of Gainesville Fire Rescue Facebook page
Photos courtesy of Gainesville Fire Rescue Facebook page

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Quick actions from emergency crews helped free a construction worker who was buried under 2 feet of dirt when a hole collapsed Thursday morning, Gainesville Fire Rescue said.

Crews were called to the VA Hospital in Gainesville after reports that a construction worker had been trapped in a hole.

The technical rescue team found a hole dug by an excavator that was about 30 feet wide and 10 feet deep. The worker was completely covered by 1 to 2 feet of dirt and couldn't be seen from the top of the hole, firefighters said.

Crews dug with shovels and their hands and found the worker's head. He was unconscious, but breathing, firefighters said.

Crews set up safety systems, including harnesses and ropes, to protect GFR crews as they continued to dig to free the worker under the looming threat of further collapse.

As the worker was uncovered and his breathing improved, he regained consciousness and was able to communicate with the responders.

Firefighters freed the man and got him out of the hole within 20 minutes.

He was taken to Shands Hospital by Alachua County Fire Rescue under a trauma alert, but he was in stable condition, firefighters said.

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