Construction worker dies after falling into water-filled trench in Johnstown

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JOHNSTOWN, Colo. (KDVR) – A construction worker who fell about 25 feet into a water-filled trench on Friday in Johnstown did not survive, officials confirmed Saturday morning.

A call was received around 3:45 p.m. Friday for a confined space rescue at Thompson River Ranch, which is currently under construction.

The man fell into a hole that was approximately 25 feet deep and 30 feet wide at the top, but funneled down to about five feet in width at the bottom, according to Loveland Fire Rescue Authority.

Water covered the bottom of the hole, and the man was pinned in the mud under the water.

Loveland Fire Rescue Authority said on its Facebook page that four employees of an excavating company had been attempting to connect a domestic sewer pipe for a house under construction, to the public sewer main. The water table is high in this area because of the proximity to the Big Thompson River.

The men had been using a sump-type device to remove water from the hole, in order to visualize the sewer main. During the operation, water continued to flow into the hole and then the trench partially collapsed from the bottom. This resulted in the water level to rise quickly, completely covering the one worker.

At 11 p.m., rescue personnel were able to remove the deceased victim from the excavation site.

Rescue crews with around 60 personnel from several departments, including Front Range Fire Rescue, Greeley Fire, Poudre Fire Authority, Windsor-Severance Fire and Johnstown and Loveland police departments, all assisted in the rescue effort.

Officials have not yet released the man’s name.

This is a developing story. Details will be provided as they are received.

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