ELK CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – A trench collapse created scary moments in Beckham County Friday. For about an hour, two construction workers found themselves trapped under dirt as the Elk City Fire Department dug them out.
Emergency responders were called to the intersection of Main St. and Broadway in Elk City at about 10:40 a.m., according to Fire Chief Kyle Chervenka.
“The amount of dirt that was on top of them was excessive,” he said. “They didn’t have any movement, no mobility.”
The two workers for Orr Construction were 14 feet deep installing a water line when the collapse happened. One worker had dirt up to his waist and the other had it up to his shoulders.
“We were very fortunate that the guy that was buried up to the shoulders was able to breathe,” Chervenka said. “The way he had fallen, it made a way that he had a cavity for his chest.”
The Chief said it took about 40 minutes for the first rescue, and then 20 minutes for the other. Firefighters first used lumber and plywood to wall off any further dirt collapse, and then they dug out the workers as quickly as possible.
“Usually trench collapses whenever you go to those, they’re usually a recovery,” Chervenka explained. “These men were very fortunate. We were able to quickly get the materials needed and work to get both men freed in a timely fashion. It was a pretty good feeling.”
He reported both workers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries and are expected to be OK.
KFOR did ask Orr Construction for comment but weren’t provided one.