Plumber Rescued After Being Stuck in Trench Collapse for 13 Hours

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Plumber Rescued After Being Stuck in Trench Collapse for 13 Hours |

Oakland, CA -- A plumber who became trapped in a fifteen foot deep hole was rescued after thirteen hours underground.

The man who was trapped, Rogelio Esparza, was working on a busted sewer line when the walls in his trench collapsed.  The sides of the trench were not properly shored up.

At the bottom of the hole, Esparza's feet became stuck in the sand/clay mixed mud.  "Every time we'd try to pull some sand, more sand would fall back into the hole.  And his feet were stuck in clay at the bottom so we had to dig pretty deep," said Oakland Fire Battalion Chief Lisa Baker.

The fire department brought in a large vacuum truck to try and empty the hole.  As night fell, temperatures dropped and the rescue workers lowered a heater for Esparza.

Just before it began raining, rescue workers were able to get Esparza to safety after thirteen hours.  He was cold, but otherwise okay.

"He was taken to a hospital, but all his vital signs were normal and he didn't have any outwardly visible injuries.  We were fortunate to get him out when we did because it started raining pretty soon after," she said. 


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