MARYVILLE, IL (KTVI) – Firefighters from Maryville and Troy Illinois were called to a home on Westridge Drive around 2pm Wednesday afternoon when a man working to repair a water line became trapped when the hole he was working in partially collapsed.
The unidentified man in his 30s had just completed repairs when he slipped causing a portion of the seven foot deep hole to collapse around him according to witnesses.
People on the scene tried unsuccessfully to free the man on their own for about 15 minutes before calling 911 for help.
It took rescue crews almost 90 minutes to free the man from thigh high mud that had built up around him.
Ben Frey, who lives in the home, says he jumped in to help secure one of the walls and keep it from completely collapsing. Had that happened, Frey tells Fox 2 it would have buried the man up to his chest.
Maryville Assistant Fire Chief Darin Hartman tells Fox 2 that our recent rainfall definitely contributed to the collapse. The wet weather made the clay soil unstable and mushy and more susceptible to collapse.
The unidentified man was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.