Worker rescued after being trapped in trench collapse

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After more than two hours, crews from two different counties were able to rescue a worker after a trench collapse in Pasco County Monday afternoon.

According to Pasco County Fire Rescue, the collapse happened at the intersection of Old Pasco Road and Quail Hollow Blvd. in Wesley Chapel. That’s just west of Interstate 75.

Fire officials say when they first arrived, they found the victim trapped in a collapsed trench with water rising to his chin. 

"He's stuck in clay, sticky, sugar sand. It's almost like quick sand up to his waist," said Corey Dierdorff, a spokesman for Pasco County Fire Rescue. 

They asked Hillsborough County Fire Rescue trench collapse team for help getting the man out.

It was not a quick rescue, the tightly packed sand put immense pressure on the man's body. 

"Every time they start to vacuum the sand out, more sand is sliding in because it's all very wet," explained Dierdorff. "You can't just yank on him, it could cause for dislocations, it could cause further injuries."

Finally, just after 6:00 p.m., patience and strategy paid off. Using ropes and heavy equipment, crews were able to rescue the man. He was airlifted to a local hospital. 

Craig Bond witnessed the entire rescue.

"It was a good feeling," he said. "We were glad he was okay, and we just wanted to see him get out of there."

The condition of the man has not yet been released.