Body recovered from Renton trench collapse after ‘tedious’ and ‘methodical’ 7.5 hours

Sep 8, 2022, 9:10 AM | Updated: 9:17 am
(Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority)
(Photo courtesy of Renton Regional Fire Authority)

A construction trench in Renton near May Creek Park collapsed Wednesday afternoon, killing one man whose body has since been recovered. Rescue crews are on the scene to determine the extent of harm to other individuals involved.

Puget Sound Regional Fire (PSRFA) called this a recovery mission, with at least one male believed to be dead from the incident.

“Initially we were in rescue mode, but then we’ve really turned it over to recovery mode,” Puget Sound Fire spokesperson Pat Pawlak said. “Just the sheer weight of the dirt. You think about when you’re having to breathe and then you have all this weight on you, your chest just can’t move in order to breathe air.”

Two bodies recovered after trench collapse in Shoreline

Emergency responders have closed numerous roads in the area.

According to reporting from KIRO 7, PSRFA said the man was 20 feet down in the trench and covered under 10 feet of dirt. Workers partially uncovered the man before first responders arrived.

The man was a private contractor and did not work for the city of Renton.

Renton Police officers are assisting alongside Renton Fire Department. Officials recommend avoiding the area as traffic may need to be rerouted, causing delays.

The Tukwila Fire Department and King County Medic One are also at the location of the rescue at NE 38th Street and Lincoln Avenue NE.

Update 8:52 a.m.

The body of a man who was working in a Renton trench has been recovered after the trench collapsed Wednesday afternoon.

Crews worked over the course of more than seven and a half hours using a vacuum truck to help clear out some loose rocks and dirt, among other equipment.

“It was very tedious, but we wanted to make sure that once we turned it into a recovery operations that we were very safe. We were very methodical and made sure that the environment was safe for the firefighters that were going to go down to remove him,” Puget Sound Fire spokesperson Pat Pawlak said to KIRO 7.

The man’s body was recovered around 8:30 p.m., and it was taken by the King County Medical Examiner to determine his cause of death.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries will investigate to determine whether all the safety protocols were followed before the collapse.

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Body recovered from Renton trench collapse after ‘tedious’ and ‘methodical’ 7.5 hours