UPDATE (8:45 p.m.) — A construction worker who was buried waist-deep in a trench outside a Pikesville house Monday was rescued by Baltimore County firefighters and hospitalized at Maryland Shock Trauma in critical condition, a fire official said.
But Monday evening, a hospital representative said the accident victim, Will Sprinkle, is now stable and might be sent home "tonight or tomorrow."
A second worker who was in the trench when it collapsed, William Simmons, of Dundalk, was rescued shortly after firefighters arrived and was not hospitalized.
The two workers were trapped after a trench in which they were working collapsed, Fire Chief Stephen Lancaster said. The men had been working in the 2900 block of Woodvalley Drive.
"There were contractors working around the house," Lancaster said. "At some point while they were working ... part of the trench collapsed, pushing him up against the wall. ... At one point he was buried up to his waist."
The trench had been dug against the foundation, near the front door. It was about 6 feet deep at its deepest point, said Pete Hill, fire director for the Baltimore County Fire Department.
The more seriously injured man's feet were in that deepest point while he was trapped, Hill said. The imprints of his workboots were still at the bottom after the rescue.
Lancaster said he did not have information on the company for which the men were working. Simmons said the two were doing work for a foundation company.
"I was holding back some of the dirt with my back so it didn't fall on him and crush him," Simmons said describing the accident. Meanwhile, "He was trying to dig himself out."
About 50 members of the fire department worked on the scene. With the temperature at 100 degrees with a heat index of 108, rescuers had to be rotated to keep them hydrated and cool, Lancaster said.
The more seriously injured man was trapped for a total of about 1 1/2 hours, Lancaster said. From the time the department entered the trench, to the time they pulled him out was an hour, Lancaster explained.
"That's real good time. I've been on these things (and it has taken) in excess of 12-14 hours," he said.
Hill said the following units worked on the scene: The Urban Search and Rescue Unit from Station 17 in Texas, the , the Lutherville Volunteer Fire Company, —which was the first on the scene—as well as eight other pieces of equipment.
The Maryland Occupational, Safety and Health was on the scene and is investigating, Hill said.
Crews from the PVFC worked closely with firefighters from the Advanced Tactical Rescue team to shore up the trench and carefully extricate the victim, said Michael Schwartzberg, spokesman for the company, in an email this evening.
"PVFC Captain Glenn Resnick was in charge of 'Trench Operations,'" and the company had eight confined space technicians on the scene. They were from the station, located in Pikesville, as well as from Hampstead in Carroll County and Baltimore City, he said.