One man is dead and another is believed to have suffered the same fate after a trench at a Long Island construction site collapsed, burying the two under feet of dirt and sand, officials said.
The workers were installing a septic tank at the site where a new large home is being built on Wolver Hollow Road in Upper Brookville, officials said. Around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, the walls to the 30-foot pit partially caved in, according to investigators, and the two men were trapped.
"One of the walls of dirt and sand began to give away, basically covering both males in approximately five to seven feet of wet dirt and sand," said Nassau County Police Lieutenant Richard LeBrun.
Rescue crews used their hands and shovels to dig one of the men out. Unfortunately, it was too late, and the 45-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene.
Crews were unable to reach the other man, who is missing and believed to be dead under several feet of dirt. Efforts to retrieve the 57-year-old had to be postponed due to darkness late Tuesday night.
The names of the two victims were not immediately made available.
A wife of one of the victims came to the scene and was seen getting placed into an ambulance. LeBrun said she was having difficulty breathing and fainted after hearing the tragic news.
LeBrun did credit the rescue teams for doing everything they could to reach the men in a dangerous situation.
"They put their lives at risk, they went down into this hole, they were able to rescue one male, but unfortunately he was pronounced [dead] a short time later," LeBrun said. "Once those other walls started to give away it was just too dangerous for anyone else to be in that area."
Those who live in the area were shaken up as well at the incident. Police said they will be launching an investigation into what happened, and recovery efforts for the second worker will continue Wednesday morning.