Two workers killed after trench collapses in Washington

SHORELINE, Wash. (AP) — Two workers were killed after a trench collapsed in Shoreline and the slope was too unstable to recover their bodies Monday so efforts will resume Tuesday.

“It was on a very steep slope. It’s just an unstable surface for us to continue,” Michelle Pidduck with the Shoreline Fire Department said Monday night.

Washington State Labor and Industries officials were dispatched to the scene. Pidduck said the men were private employees, but she did not know who hired them.

Recent permitting records with the city show that a resident was replacing part of a collapsed side sewer on private property.

At around 8:30 p.m., three vacuum trucks with long hose leads arrived in an attempt to suck up loose soil and alleviate pressure around where the men’s bodies were buried so they can be safely extricated. Pidduck later said the attempts to use the vacuum trucks failed.

“The dirt was too hard and too packed,” she said.

Pidduck said the men’s bodies were buried beneath “at least 3 feet of Earth.” Medics initially on the scene were able to connect with part of them that was exposed enough to use an automated external defibrillator. No heart activity was detected.

This announcement follows the news that two workers were presumed dead after a trench they were digging for a sewer line in Texas last week collapsed and buried them, officials said.

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