Buried construction worker could lose legs after trench rescue

- A worker was badly injured when a trench collapsed in Warren Tuesday night.

The 37-year-old victim was buried 12 feet deep for two hours before being rescued by Warren firefighters at about 9:30 p.m. Now  we are learning more regarding the safety record of the man's company.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said the next two days will be critical for the recovery of the worker.

"It's going to be tricky for the next 48 hours," Fouts said. "He faces the potential of having both legs amputated or going into shock which could result in death in the worst case scenario."

He was severely injured after being buried in clay.

"I think four firefighters held on and two held onto his legs and two were upside down," Fouts said. "Blood rushes to your brain so they could only work 20 minutes basically digging at it with small shovels and with their hands to pull that clay away from him."

Most of the workers did not report for work Wednesday. MiOSHA was at the scene to determine whether or not there were safety violations. If they find those violations, the company or other parties could be fined and those fines could be big.

"They could get a fine from $20,000 to $100,000 for not following MiOSHA rules," Fouts said.

FOX 2's Randy Wimbley reported Tuesday night that firefighters said the worker may not have had a trench box with him, used to keep the walls from collapsing.

He believes the worker may not have had the proper safety protection when he went into the trench. MiOSHA told FOX 2 that Jay's Excavating did have two serious violations in 2015 when they were doing work on a water and sewer line.

"He is an earnest worker, he volunteered to go down and try to connect the sewer pipe with the regular city pipe," Fouts said. "And unfortunately it led to a serious situation that he is in now."

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