Firefighters rescue worker after trench collapses at construction site

Construction trench collapse
Firefighters from East Greenwich, Eltham, Bethnal Green and surrounding fire stations attended the scene (Image: London Fire Brigade)

On Tuesday (16 April) London Fire Brigade firefighters rescued a man trapped at a construction site in Charlton, South East London.

A trench of approximately 12m long and 4m deep had collapsed and trapped the worker up to his waist in sand and clay.

Five Fire Rescue Units formed part of the Brigade’s response, deploying specially trained urban search and rescue crews to the scene. Crews worked to make the scene safe and rescue the trapped person.

The emergency services excavated sand and clay from the trench to increase access. As they did this, steps were taken to shore up and stabilise the trench to prevent further collapses.

One of the Brigade’s 32m ladders was also deployed to assist crews in their rescue operations.

The rescue took more than six hours. Once the man was released from the trench, he was taken to hospital by paramedics.

The London Fire Brigade said the investigation had been handed over to the Metropolitan Police and Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

An HSE spokesperson said: “We are aware of this incident and making inquiries in relation to the ongoing risk.”

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