Two men died in a construction accident when a deep trench collapsed in Boston's South End neighborhood on Friday afternoon. According to the Boston Fire Department, two men became trapped after a water main gave way and flooded a trench. Authorities say the men were working in a trench next to a fire hydrant. Water began to pour into the hole, and two men did not have time to get out. Rescue crews worked throughout the night and recovered their bodies hours later at around 8 p.m. The crew had to work in a trench box and carefully removed the dirt with their hands.
The victims were identified as a 47-year-old man and a 53-year-old man. Boston Police Commissioner said a preliminary investigation revealed a pipe broke and quickly flooded the trench that was estimated to be about 12 to 15 feet deep, causing it to collapse.
Boston Police and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be investigating the cause of the deadly incident. The Suffolk County District Attorney's Office will also be joining the investigation of the private contractor, Atlantic Drain Services, who employed the workers.
Officials say the investigation is underway and the area around Dartmouth Street is expected to be closed for several days during this time. Officials say previous safety issues have been found with the Roslindale-based Atlantic Drain Services. Earlier this year, the company was cited for eight different violations and has paid $20,000 in fines to OSHA.
AHundreds of workers are injured or killed when a trench collapses. Many times the accident was caused by failure to follow safety procedures. If you have been involved in a similar construction accident, please contact a construction accident attorney at Meyerkord & Kurth, LLC.