Three men were working in a trench near the foundation at a home on Bradford Avenue at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, when the trench collapsed.
By Tom McDermott
Three men were working in a trench near the foundation at a home on Bradford Avenue at 11:15 a.m. Thursday, when the trench collapsed. Two of the workers suddenly found themselves covered up to their chests by dirt.
The homeowner immediately called 911; the Rye Police Department was first to the scene, quickly followed by Rye Fire Department and a DPW team with a vacuum truck. New Rochelle Fire Department, Westchester County Technical Rescue Team, and EMS were also summoned.
The first victim was removed safely by Rye firefighters at 12:29 p.m., followed six minutes later by the second. Both men were conscious and alert. RFD’s Jeff Hernandes told the paper that he was working in the hole with three colleagues for well over an hour. The rescue workers looked hot and exhausted as they exited the trench. None of them was reported hurt.
The DPW vacuum truck, normally used to clean sewers, along with a similar Con Ed truck, were essential to removing dirt quickly from the trench so that rescue workers would be safe as they tried to remove the men. According to Mayor Sack, who was on the scene, DPW workers are trained for such an emergency.
According to RFD’s Lt. Kurt Tietjen, the men were put on oxygen as a precaution and at no point suffered any major distress, although they “clearly wanted out,” said Tietjen.
The victims were transported by Port Chester, Rye, Rye Brook EMS to an area hospital.
In an impromptu press conference convened near Morris Court, Sack introduced Lt. Tietjen and Lt. Craig from RPD to a large media group which was following the story live. Lt. Craig praised the “cooperation effort” of the various responding teams. He said it appeared that the incident was “a home repair gone bad. OSHA was on the scene to investigate the accident.”