Two bodies recovered after trench collapse in Shoreline

Jul 6, 2022, 9:22 AM


Photo by Lewis Geyer

The bodies of two men killed in Monday’s trench collapse have been recovered this morning around 4:10 a.m.

Shoreline Fire and Rescue report the bodies remain trapped and the incident has become a recovery effort.

The men’s bodies were buried under at least three feet of earth, Michelle Pidduck with Shoreline Fire Department reports.

Shoreline collapsed construction trench kills 2

KIRO 7’s Briseida Holguin was in Shoreline at the scene of the recovery.

“We do know that crews were working all night yesterday. They actually anticipated the recovery process to run somewhere between 12 to 24 hours,” Holguin said.

“The shoreline fire chief said the two men were working at the bottom of the very steep slope and they believe that dirt fell from the top”

Investigators say it appears the crew did not have the proper setup to keep the dirt from caving in.

Officials say shoring was used in the trench, but not a trench box, which is designed to keep dirt from caving in.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, “When trenches reach a depth of 5 feet or more, OSHA requires contractors to use a protective system.”

Shoreline Fire Chief Matt Cowan spoke about how difficult it was to recover the bodies and why it took nearly two days.

“I’ve been in the service for about 30 years I’ve been on trench rescues and so forth I’ve never had such a complicated site” Cowan told KIRO Newsradio.

Shoreline Fire says one of the victims was in his 30s and the other in his 60s. Their bodies were taken to the county medical examiner.

Washington Labor and Industries has launched its own investigation.

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