BOONTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — One construction worker’s body was pulled from a trench, and another was believed to be dead and was buried more than 10 feet underground, in Boonton Township, New Jersey Wednesday evening.
As CBS 2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, the Morris County Sheriff’s office was called out around 3:45 p.m. to a scene on Rockaway Valley Road in Boonton Township, after the trench collapsed.
Crews worked late into the night as the rescue mission turned into a recovery mission.
One victim’s body was removed from the trench Wednesday evening, while the other was still buried in the trench as of 11 p.m., police told CBS 2’s Carrasco.
Police said the second victim is also believed to be dead, but that victim’s body has not been recovered.
“One worker, they said, was at the bottom of the trench,” said Boonton Township police Chief Paul Fortunato. “The second worker, my understanding is, jumped in to rescue the first worker.”
Fellow construction workers from the company stood by and watched.
Uvenzo Banegas Hernandez waited for word about his father Oscar Portillo. Family members confirmed he was one of the men trapped.
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to him,” Hernandez said in Spanish. “I want him to be OK.”
A friend at the scene identified the other victim who became trapped in the trench as Selvin Zelaya.
A third worker was also hurt and was taken an area the hospital with minor injuries.
The 50-foot by 60-foot trench is on the private property of a residence, officials said. The trench was about 10 to 12 feet deep, police said.
Millburn and Union County fire crews and Boonton Township police were sent to the scene, along with crews from other municipalities.
The crews were installing a French drain at the house at the time of the accident.
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