An employee, 20, of Fiske construction became buried when a trench he was excavating collapsed on him. The worker’s name was not immediately released, but police say he was not from New York State.
Although the homeowner and a co-worker were at the scene at the time of the collapse, neither noticed anything was amiss. Firefighters were not called to the scene until 12:45 pm., at which time, the worker was already dead.
The ditch was 2 to 3 feet wide and between 64 to 96 inches deep, dug into ground composed of clay, sand and soil. The ditch was being dug to lay drain pipes in preparation for an expansion of the home.
The worker was allegedly trying to inspect something in the ditch when he became buried in the clay and dirt, according to officials.
First responders tried to reach the worker but the soil was unstable and continued to collapse on itself as rescuers dug.
"It was a recovery from the moment we arrived," he said, adding that specially trained crews from the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control had been called in with specialized equipment to shore up the trench and extricate the body.
The cause of the construction accident is under investigation by the State Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other agencies.