Raleigh, N.C. — A construction worker died Tuesday afternoon after being trapped underneath several feet of dirt at a work site on North Carolina State University's Centennial Campus, Raleigh Fire Department officials said.
Emergency crews arrived at the work site about 12:30 p.m. and determined that a rescue attempt was too risky, Division Chief K.T. Hocutt said.
"This is an extremely technical rescue, not only a dangerous situation for the workers involved but for our first responders," he said. "The initial rescue wasn't possible, so at that time it was determined this was going to be a recovery operation."
A backhoe moved soil away from the trench, and emergency crews used a compressor to suction it away. Crews also placed a blue tarp over the trench to shield the public's view as they removed the body about 2:40 p.m.
"Sometimes it's just too risky. You'll end up with multiple victims at the same time and with the shifting soil and fractures there it was to just too risky to go in before we could stabilize or remove the soil to gain access," Raleigh Fire's Frank McLaurin said.
Authorities have not released the worker's name, but said he worked for JF Wilkerson Contracting in Morrisville. The work site was a City of Raleigh Public Works project, authorities said.
NC State officials closed Main Campus Drive about 2 p.m. and told students in an alert that it would likely remain closed throughout the afternoon Tuesday.
It wasn't immediately clear what caused the trench to collapse, and authorities have not released any other information.