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A construction accident in a trench in Lee’s...
A construction accident in a trench in Lee’s Summit this afternoon left one dead.
October 24, 2013
By Stephen Wagner
Tribune Photo/Stephen Wagner
Lee’s Summit Fire Department responded to a call for a trench rescue in the 1000 block of Southwest Drake Circle at approximately 1:30PM. The house where the accident happened was under construction. A plumbing company was installing a sewer line to the house from the main when a 12-15 foot deep trench collapsed trapping the worker. At the end of the trench sitting on the street was the backhoe. The trench was approximately 450 feet long with a 10 foot jog a third of the way along. It appeared that the collapse occurred in the final 15 feet of the trench before it met the street.
The width of the trench was very narrow, ranging from about three feet to about five feet. Where the collapse occurred the trench was considerably wider.
Lee’s Summit Fire responded immediately as well as the Lee’s Summit Police. Approximately 35 minutes after the original call, Kansas City Fire Department Rescue 9 was summoned and responded followed by two additional units, including KCFD Rescue 31.
One worker that was at the house but not involved in the incident was too distraught to give a statement other than to say he knew the person trapped.
As the rescue progressed into a recovery operation, there were approximately 50 first responders on the scene.
The operation was complicated as the underground electrical lines were not marked, and additional resources required summoning. After the lines were marked, KCP&L was called.
Sgt. Depue, PIO for the Lee’s Summit Police Department confirmed that there was one death. Southwest Drake Circle is about ¾ mile south of Highway 150 off Ward Road.
4:21 p.m. Additional information from Sgt. Chris Depue:
Upon arrival crews located a trench that was approximately 75 feet long that had been dug from the street up to a residential home under construction. The two man crew was working to connect the sanitary sewer to the home under construction when the earth shifted in the trench and collapsed on the man who was working down below. The other man was working from the top of the trench and was not harmed."
Crews on scene worked tirelessly on rescue efforts before the trench began to collapse again and efforts were forced into a recovery mode.
The LSFD has requested assistance from the Kansas City Fire Department’s Technical Rescue unit which specializes in collapses and trench work.
Also on scene are officials with OSHA, City Codes Department, LSPD, LSFD and also KCFD.
The victim’s name has not been released yet, but he is identified as a white male
WANTED BY Grain Valley Police, Alan Duane Lovelace, Jr.