Local News

Man dies in trench collapse at Fort Bragg

Posted July 24, 2014
Updated July 25, 2014

— A trench collapse Thursday that killed a construction worker on Fort Bragg is so precarious that emergency workers must use their hands and buckets to dig the man's body out of the dirt,  authorities said.

"The angle of the back of the bunker and the instability of the dirt is making the excavation of the body very difficult," said Calvin Bishop, a battalion commander with the Fayetteville Fire Department.

The accident happened about 11 a.m. in a trench near the Ammunition Supply Point on Manchester Road. Bishop said several thousand pounds of sand collapsed on the man, a civilian whose name was not immediately released.

Authorities said the trench was dug for the installation of pipes for a bunker and the Ammunition Supply Point. At some point in the construction, a large rock or large amount of dirt dislodged, prompting the collapse.

Bishop said the recovery effort was expected to take hours. The man's body still had not been freed from the trench early Friday.


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  • btneast Jul 25, 2014

    I am an industrial safety professional. I assure you that virtually all "accidents" can be prevented. I agree.....if by the term "accident" one is implying that an incident was unavoidable and there was no fault, then I say there is no such thing. There is ALWAYS a cause....may not have been intentional, but there is always a cause.

  • notexactly Jul 25, 2014

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    You have no clue as to what you are talking about. You cant just jump in and start digging or you risk of another cave in on top of the rescuers. The problem was the ditch was not shored back and or they didn't have a shore box. You are supposed to have a ladder as well in the ditch at all times when over 4 feet deep. This was a preventable accident and negligence on the excavating company. Whoever was doing the digging knows better.

  • Jerry Sawyer Jul 25, 2014
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    The fact that the terrain made this work site a very dangerous place to dig trenches is even more reason for the need to have had someone on site with the knowledge to take the necessary steps to ensure that the workers would be completely safe. So called "accidents" can and should be precluded.

  • Jennifer Lee Jul 25, 2014
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    There is a good possibility that the guy was hired by off base contractors. Someone like Balford Bitty or another local contractor.

  • Jerry Sawyer Jul 25, 2014
    user avatar

    I am an industrial safety professional. I assure you that virtually all "accidents" can be prevented.

  • justabumer Jul 25, 2014

    View quoted thread

    The lengthy recovery wasn't a result of a lack of manpower. Did you read the article before replying?

  • Gork Jul 25, 2014

    Does anyone know who the guy worked for - what contractor?

  • Amy Carey Jul 25, 2014
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    View quoted thread

    A trench box would have prevented this from happening. That would have no effect on any ordinance storage areas.

  • Clinton Tingen Jul 25, 2014
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    Accidents happen, regulations and OSHA can't prevent everything. Being as this was so near an ordnance storage area, I imagine most typical safety regulations do not apply. What shouldn't have happened on post was it taking a few hours to dig his body out. The base is full of privates and PFC's that are great for digging.

  • Jerry Sawyer Jul 25, 2014
    user avatar

    This should have never happen. OSHA has very specific rules that preclude this from happening.