WESTFIELD, NJ (CBS 2) — Police officers and firefighters rescued a man trapped for more than two hours in an eight foot trench in Westfield Saturday.

Officials say part of the trench collapsed, burying the worker in heavy, wet dirt up to his waist. Responders from Westfield, Elizabeth, Linden and as far away as Jersey City and Newark had to dig the man out by hand.

“There was a lot of earth that had to be moved by hand,” said Westfield Fire Department chief Dan Kelly. “There was a lot of hand digging, five gallon pails, we could not take the risk of bringing in heavy equipment.”

The plumbing contractor is in stable condition at University Hospital. The cause of the trench collapse remains under investigation.

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