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Man buried to chest while fixing underground pipe leak


Not all construction work is done hundreds of feed above ground, just as much work is done underground. There are men and women who spend their working days underground moving earth, repairing pipes, building subway systems and many other modern construction feats. While the location may be different the risk of danger is the same.

A New York construction work was listed in critical condition after being rescued from a trench on January 21. The construction worker was part of a crew repairing a leaking underground pipe. He had been about 12 feet underground for about an hour when a pipe hit the trench he was in, causing the excavation accident. The collapse buried the man under soil and rocks. His co-workers were able to free the man's head and torso before emergency workers arrived. As medics treated the man for pain and dehydration a specially trained command unit used pneumatic jacks along with compressor and vacuum trucks to free the man, who was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

Because New York prohibits employees from suing their employers, the case will likely end up before the workers' compensation board. But the man can sue a third party if there is evidence of negligence such as faulty equipment or a contractor's negligent actions.

Even absent negligence, construction work can be very dangerous. The United States is as great as it is in part due to the hard work of constructions workers, who risk their lives every day, so that the physical foundations of our society exist.

Source: NBC New York, "Worker Buried Up to Chest in Soil at NYC Construction Site Rescued," Michael George, Jan. 21, 2015

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