Sewer Line Repair Turns to Tragedy

A trench collapse in Hays, Kansas, kills 2
Sewer Line Repair Turns to Tragedy
Rescue crews respond to the scene of a trench collapse in Hays, Kansas, on March 1. (Photo courtesy of Shardaa Gray/KSN News)

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Two men are dead and another was injured after an 11-foot deep trench collapsed in Hays, Kansas. A crew from locally based JCorp was conducting sewer line repairs on Main Street when the accident occurred around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The first victim was rescued shortly after the accident happened and was transported to Hays Medical Center. By 4:30 p.m., the operation had changed from rescue to recovery for the other two workers still trapped, reports the Hays Post.

“The rescuers were painstakingly removing dirt from the trench one bucket at a time,” says Hays Public Information Officer Kim Rupp. “They had to be careful for their own safety and the victims.”

One of the two bodies was recovered around 5:30 p.m. and transported to a local funeral home. The second body was recovered around 9:25 p.m., and the scene was finally secured by about 10:15 p.m., according to reports.

Rupp says the families of the victims have been notified, but the city has not yet released the names of the three people.

The Hays Fire Department, Ellis County Rural Fire Department, Ellis and Victoria Fire Departments, and the Northwest Kansas Regional Technical Rescue Team performed the rescue operation.

Also on the scene were the American Red Cross, Ellis County Emergency Management, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Ellis County EMS, along with Hays Mayor Eber Phelps, City Manager Toby Dougherty, Utilities Director Johnny O’Connor, Public Works Director Greg Sund, and Assistant Public Works Director John Braun.

Main Street continued to be closed March 2 as sewer line repair was completed.

Source: Hays Post,


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