Pacific Palisades News
Trench Collapse Buries Two People
By Helya Askari
Mar 16, 2013 - 11:27:31 PM

PACIFIC PALISADES—A trench, along the 200 block of North Temescal Canyon Road, collapsed over two LA Engineer Inc. employees on Thursday, March 14. The Los Angeles Fire Department responded to the site just after 1 p.m and began digging into the “approximately 20 feet long u-shaped trench, ranging from 110' to 10' wide and up to 15 feet wide,” said LAFD spokesman Eric Scott. Scott also stated that “the two workers were from a privately contracted company, working for the city on a storm water project” when the collapse occurred.

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Will Rogers State Park

The first victim, who remains unidentified, was extracted by firefighters a little before 3 p.m after being buried waist-deep in the trench. The man was taken to the Will Rodgers Beach parking lot by ambulance, where he was promptly airlifted to the UCLA medical center. The LAFD confirms that the man is currently in stable condition.

The second victim, Gilbert Vargas, 50, was buried up to his chest and unconscious as firefighters lead by Battalion Chief Al Ward, worked to rescue him from the trench. Considering the nature of his injuries Vargas was pronounced dead on the site, while officials continued to dig to remove his body from the trench. Vargas’ body is currently in the custody of the L.A County Coroner’s office where the exact cause of death will be determined.

90 personal from the LAFD, LAPD, the City’s Department of Public Works Bureau of Sanitation, Department of Building and Safety and The Division of Occupational Safety and Health assisted in the rescue operation that lasted more than 9 hours.



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