NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Firefighters rescued a construction worker from a muddy trench in the Kew Gardens section of Queens early Tuesday evening.
It was a grueling procedure that lasted more than two and a half hours. Marcos Castellon, 30, had fallen about 25 feet into the trench at 119-02 83rd Ave., and it partially collapsed around him, the FDNY told 1010 WINS.
He and his brother, Miguel, were working at the excavation site when the sides came crashing in.
“We were working inside the one hole. Then, everything came tumbling down,” Miguel Castellon said.
Marcos Castellon was trapped in dirt up to his waist.
“We had rescue paramedics go down and start a line, start a treatment for crush syndrome,” Chief of Rescue Battalion Richard Portello told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.
While teams of men shored up the side walls, paramedics made sure Marcos Castellon didn’t suffer the deadly affects of the weight of the debris on his body. Con Ed vacuum trucks raced to remove the dirt, getting the trapped worker out from under every inch before they hoisted him up.
“We just kept giving him encouragement, telling him that we’ll get you out, just gonna take a little time,” Portello said.
Marcos Castellon was in stable condition at the time of his rescue. He was transported to Jamaica Hospital with injuries not believed to be life threatening, Schneider reported.
People who live nearby said something like this was bound to happen. They said they’ve been raising the red flag on this site for six months.
The owner of the property has been slapped with 23 complaints from the Department of Buildings since January. A stop-work order was in place Tuesday, meaning no construction should have been ongoing, and an additional complaint was filed just Tuesday, Schneider reported.
“They’ve been constructing this house without any plan. The community board has been complaining to the DOB day in, day out. The DOB is toothless. They haven’t put a stop to their illegal construction. They are operating under a stop-work order and a violation of the stop-work order. They have absolutely no permit,” concerned neighbor Ido Tuchman said.
In a similar incident back in March, a worker was trapped for four hours in a muddy trench as he worked on the Second Avenue subway. More than 150 firefighters went below ground to rescue him, and it took three hours to free one of his legs.
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