EMERY, S.D. — The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched an investigation into a trench collapse in southeast South Dakota that left a man hospitalized.
The worker, who was part of a construction crew working on a city-wide water line and sewer replacement project was nearly completely covered in dirt and debris.
It took crews approximately five minutes to uncover the man’s head and about 30 minutes to remove him from the debris.
The victim, who has not been identified by authorities, was transported by helicopter to Sioux Falls and has since been released, according to Hanson County Sheriff Brandon Wingert.
The investigation will likely include what caused the trench collapse and could result in citations to the Fort Pierre-based construction company involved, First Dakota Enterprises if safety deficiencies are found.
According to OSHA, excavating is recognized as one of the most hazardous construction operations.