A 59-year-old worker was killed when a cesspool he was working on collapsed, burying the victim in 15 feet of dirt. The tragic incident occurred just before 1 p.m. Wednesday on Beech Place in Huntington, Long Island.
According to officials, workers from Don Antorino Sewer and Drain of Islandia were installing a new cesspool at the location. Witnesses say that the victim was directing other workers on digging a shaft which would facilitate drainage when the hole suddenly collapsed and the victim fell in.
A second worker almost fell, but managed to climb and grab onto some equipment and pull himself out. The huge hole covered the front yard and half of the driveway.
Emergency response crews worked for hours trying to rescue the man. There was a vacuum truck on the scene which was used to remove the dirt. They also used a crane and bungee cords in their rescue attempts, cutting down trees as they tried to get to the victim. The victim was buried for hours before rescuers were able to unbury him and he did not survive.
According to reports, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the fatal accident. Some of the questions they will be looking to answer is what exactly caused the accident and if there were any safety violations.
Upon hearing of the accident, Neal Goldstein said, “My condolences go out to the victim’s family. This is a horrific incident and one that does need to be thoroughly investigated by OSHA to find out if all safety regulations and protocols were in place by the construction company.
In accidents like these, victims’ families often file wrongful death lawsuits against the parties that are deemed responsible for their loved one’s death.”