Two men were rushed to the hospital this afternoon when a huge trench they were digging caved in and they were trapped by a mountain of dirt.
The incident happened in the front yard of 4121 Conrad Road, in the Alexandria part of Fairfax County, at about 4:15 p.m. today.
Dayana Llanos, a resident of the house, said she heard screaming and her mother yelled for someone to call 911. One of the men injured was her uncle, Fernando Llanos, who also lived at that address, and the other was a man named Moises, who was working on the trench as a contractor. They were trying to unclog the water and sewer lines, she said.
Fairfax County Deputy Fire Chief Chuck Ryan said the trench was 10 to 12 feet deep and three feet wide. “Safety procedures would indicate that a three-foot wide trench is unsafe and that it should have been six feet wide with the sides enforced,” he said.
According to Ryan, one man was buried to the neck, the other to the waist. He speculated that the injuries were “crush-related.” About 60 to 70 firefighters and EMTs and 10 vehicles responded to the incident. One of the injured men was transported via Medevac helicopter, which landed on the field at Glasgow Middle School.
Ryan said the fire department will contact OSHA. “If they deem it’s appropriate, they will investigate” whether there was a safety violation, he said.