Authorities have confirmed that a construction worker has died after a trench in which he was working collapsed on Monday afternoon in Sterling Heights, Macomb County in Michigan.
Sterling Heights police Chief Dale Dwojakowski said they received a call at around 1:30 p.m. Monday about the incident at an abandoned motel at 42371 Mound near 19 Mile.
Dwojakowski shared that they were told the workers were then digging a trench, doing underground prep work when the trench collapsed.
Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin said the contract worker was attempting to tap off a sewer line. He appeared to have been working alone at that time when heavy clay buried him. Martin said that the problem was the trench did not seem to have been properly stored at the time.
The incident happened at an abandoned motel that has been unoccupied for years. Dwojakowski said: “The crew was getting ready to demolish the building and were prepping the area when the collapse happened.”
Dwojakowski said that the Sterling Heights police and fire, with the help of the Macomb County Technical Rescue Team, tried hard to save the worker.
The victim’s body was recovered after 5 p.m. in an area about 11 feet below ground. Emergency personnel pronounced him dead at the scene.
Martin said that authorities are not yet releasing the worker’s identity and other irrelevant details since the family of the victim have yet to be informed.
The business behind the operations or construction was also not named yet.
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) officials are investigating the incident. It is not clear at this point if there are accountabilities for the unfortunate accident that led to the poor construction worker’s death.
MIOSHA representatives did not release a statement on the matter.