Detroit police were called to the scene of a rescue Wednesday afternoon.
Three people were trapped in a trench on the city's west side at Puritan and Schaffer - two were immediately pulled out but a third man was trapped for nearly 2 hours.
At one point the man was up to his neck in dirt and cement.
The victim was doing sewer work when tons of dirt collapsed on top of him. He was pulled to safety around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. He was awake and alert as he was strapped to a stretcher and taken to a local hospital by paramedics.
Local 4 spoke to a member of the rescue crew who said the man's life was in jeopardy.
"We got some oxygen on him, we dropped it below his waist so he could breathe," says Craig Robinson, Detroit Fire Department.
Robinson says the next problem the rescue team worried about was the blood in the lower half of the man's body not circulating.
"When you pull him out of the hole, he could go into shock, so they had to IV him right away," says Robinson. "Our guys did a fantastic job."
Sources tell Local 4 the worker may have a broken bone. The man was also showing signs of dehydration.
There are conflicting reports as to whether the trapped men were working for a private company or had been hired off the street - without licenses.