INDIANAPOLIS – Firefighters rescued a man Wednesday who’d been trapped in a trench for more than three hours.
According to the Indianapolis Fire Department, multiple units were dispatched around 11:15 a.m. to S. Mitthoeffer and Rawles Avenue after a man working at a construction site became trapped under several feet of dirt.
The man, 36-year-old Adam Collar, had been installing sewer pipe with other workers. He told firefighters at the scene that the dirt was heavy and he’d lost feeling in his legs.
As the dirt fell around him, he covered his face with his arms, giving him a pocket of space underneath the dirt so he could breathe. He’d been trapped for about 40 minutes before IFD arrived and said it was becoming more difficult to breathe; IFD was able to provide him with oxygen.
Cold weather and removal of “dirt in its muddy, compact and heavy state” proved to be significant hurdles in the rescue effort.
Hypothermia was a major concern. As soon as they could, firefighters provided Collar with a turnout coat and heating pads to keep his body temperature stable.
When he was almost freed, the final hurdle proved to be a pipe that had pinned one of his legs. Crews were able to get him out of the trench at 2:38 p.m. He’d been trapped in the eight-foot-deep trench for more than three hours.
He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital for evaluation. IFD said Collar, who suffered no broken bones or hypothermia, was checked for injuries and released.
Multiple agencies aided IFD in the rescue, including the Sugar Creek Fire Department, Greenfield Fire Department, Greenfield Wastewater (which provided a vacuum truck used for dirt removal), IFD Fire Buffs Rehab Support Unit, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services and the Department of Public Works.