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2 workers dead after trench collapse at Jarrell construction site

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 14:45:23-04

JARRELL, Texas — UPDATE:

On Wednesday, the Williamson County Emergency Management provided an update regarding the fatal trench collapse.

Chief Officer Mark McAdams told reporters the two individuals were recovered at 4:10 a.m. and around 7:20 a.m. respectively.

The entire process of rescue-turned-recovery took 23 hours to complete with 16 being dedicated to finding and working on a way to safely retrieve the victims.

McAdams described the process as complicated due to the soil and depth of the trench; being over 20 feet.

Crews worked through the night using both heavy machinery and eventually working manually as they approached closer towards the bodies.

McAdams expressed his thanks to the multiple agencies that assisted, including the Temple and Salado fire departments alongside the county's sheriff's office and emergency services. Private businesses and individuals were also thanked for contributing both their time and supplies at a community center set up for the friends and family of the victims.

Mayor of Jarrell Larry Bush and Jarrell ISD Superintendent Toni Hicks spoke at the press conference giving their condolences and appreciation to those who assisted and offered support services for those impacted.

Names of the victims are currently withheld, pending notification of next of kin. OSHA and other authorities are investigating the collapse, including whether proper safety measurements and weather conditions played a part.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Two men are dead after a trench collapse Tuesday morning at a Williamson County construction site, authorities said.

"We want to make sure it's safe for our emergency personnel to get down there," Nick Spinetto, a spokesperson with the city of Jarrell, said about recovery efforts for the bodies.

Officials said two workers were part of a new home building construction site in Jarrell, when a trench collapse 24 feet underground.

"This is an unfortunate accident," Spinetto said. "Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time."

Spinetto said several agencies, including Austin, Georgetown, and Round Rock fire departments, were helping with the operation, but the Jarrell Fire Department is in charge of the recovery.

He said the Williamson County Sheriff's Office would lead the investigation into how the collapse happened with assistance from OSHA.

Officials said the rescue effort lasted for four hours before first responders discovered the men were dead.

The names of the two men have yet to be released, but officials said the workers' families had been notified of their deaths.