Worker killed in trench collapse at construction site in NW Harris County

By Gianna Caserta - Reporter, Kelci Johnston - News Producer

HOUSTON - Despite the best efforts of rescue crews, a worker was killed after being buried in a wall of mud and dirt at an industrial site in northwest Harris County.

Construction crews are back to work after a co-worker was killed trying to fix a broken water main.

On Friday, crews will be working again to dig that trench and install a shoring box before doing any more repair work near Longenbaugh and Oakfield Glen.. Harris County Public Infrastructure Department officials say it all started Thursday when CenterPoint was working on a gas line in the area and accidentally hit a water main.

Municipal District Services was called out to repair it and at around 10:15 Thursday night, a 20-foot trench caved in on two workers who were inside.

Firefighters who responded say the walls were not shored up properly and the wet soft mud and dirt gave way and covered both men.

"Six foot wide by about 12 foot long opening, it appears that it wasn't shored and the wall collapsed, mostly dirt and mud," says Robert Rasa with the Cy Fair Volunteer Fire Dept.

Firefighters say one man managed to climb out on his own; he was transported to an area hospital with back injuries but is in good condition.

"One person was able to pull himself out, self-extricated, the other person was entrapped," says Rasa.

The search for that man went from a rescue effort to a recovery mission.

Neither of the workers' identities were immediately released.

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