2 workers rescued from collapsed trench in Chesterfield Township

Workers rescued after falling in collapsed trench

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Two construction workers were rescued Monday after a trench collapsed while they were working in Chesterfield Township, officials said.

The men were working around 3:45 p.m. on a home by the sea wall shoring up the foundation on Edgewater Street when the wall collapsed, trapping them from the waist down, police said.

"If it's wet sand, it can happen really fast," contractor Chris Craft said. "But this is clay, and it's wet clay. If it is the house behind mine, I know they were digging up where they dug up already, which makes it a little more dangerous because once the ground is dug up, it's not as stable."

One worker was pulled from the collapsed trench before 6 p.m. The other worker was rescued around 6:25 p.m., officials said. You can see video of crew members pulling the first man out of the trench below.

The men became trapped from the waist down about 7 to 10 feet below the surface, police said. Both men were talking to the rescue team after the collapse.

"They're shoring up the unstable ground around them and they're working on extricating them from their trapped condition," Chesterfield Township police Chief Brad Kersten said. "It's loose soil. It could be mud. The technical rescue, the firemen, they've got all the tools and all the equipment (for the rescue)."

Officials said the second worker who was rescued was helping crews pull him from the trench.

"The soil that they're working with right now, because it's close to the water, it's very porous, it's loose," Kersten said. "They've got to take a methodical approach to removing what soil is entrapping the individuals."

Kersten said the workers were conscious and alert throughout the rescue.

"One individual is actually helping the firemen as they try and dig him out," Kersten said. "It's a slow process -- very slow, methodical process that the technical firefighters use. They remove dirt and they shore it up so it doesn't fall back in."

Officials from the Chesterfield Township Police Department, the Macomb County Technical Rescue Team and multiple fire departments, including Harrison Township and Macomb Township, were involved in the rescue efforts.

Residents in the area aren't able to get into the residential area. There's only one way to get in, and it's being blocked off by officials.

The trench is on Edgewater Street between Hall and 21 Mile roads.

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