Worker Rescued From Trench in Frederick Co.

Man buried to chest in water and mud after a pipe breaks

It took about three hours to rescue a worker stuck inside a Frederick County, Md. trench Tuesday.

Frederick and Montgomery County rescue crews went to the scene in the 7100 block of Eaglehead Drive in Linganore around 3 p.m.

The 49-year-old Pennsylvania man was working in the trench when a water pipe broke, burying him in water and mud up to his chest at one point. That could add up to more than 1,000 pounds of pressure on him, said Scott Graham of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.

Crews gave the man oxygen and shored up the area around him. Crews are also tried to shut off a water source.

The man was flown to the University of Maryland Medical Shock Trauma in unknown condition, but he was alert and conscious during the rescue. 

"You can't just pull him out of there," Graham said during the rescue effort. "Picture the suction of the mud or sand around your lower body. It could potentially injure the patient to pull him up out of there because of that suction."In August, two other construction workers in the region died in trench cave-ins during a two-day span.

On Aug. 20, 36-year-old Juan Francisco Cerna Alfaro of Falls Church died when he fell into a 15-foot hole, and the dirt collapsed around him in McLean, Va.

And a day earlier, a 25-year-old worker died when a 7-foot trench fell in around him in Severn, Md.

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