VIDEO: Trapped Workers Rescued, Recovering After Construction Accident

KiiiTV3.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal BendCORPUS CHRISTI (Kiii News) -

Two men who were pinned beneath a large concrete slab following a construction accident on the city's southside Wednesday were freed, but not without some difficulty.

The men were trapped in a trench at Nile and Williams for almost two hours after a large concrete slab gave way, falling on their legs.

It was a chaotic scene as rescue crews franticly worked to free the two men. Residents stood by, praying that first responders could get to the men in time.

Police said the two construction workers were cutting a slab of concrete. They thought it was secured, but it was not. The slab fell from under them, and the men ended up falling with it and getting pinned.

"The slab fell at an angle, down so it was leaning up against a wall on this side," said Lt. Robert Alvarado of the Corpus Christi Police Department. "The workers were trapped by the ankles on the other side."

Several people were involved in the rescue. First, a large piece of machinery was pulled up, and then almost two hours into the operation, the men were finally lifted from the trench.

It's exactly the kind of situation that folks like Battalion Chief Kenneth Erben of the Corpus Christi Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team are trained for.

"We have some great medics down there," Erben said. "Started IVs getting them fluids, treating them for crush syndrome, giving them stuff for pain, treating the patient as we extricated them."

The Technical Rescue Team trains for scenarios just like the one on Wednesday.

"To give you an idea of how massive this concrete slab was, officials say it was 11-feet wide, 40-feet long and nine-inches thick," Erben said. "They placed wood to make sure that concrete wasn't going to move. We calculated it out to be 50,000 pounds. It's a lot of weight. Got to make sure that doesn't move to get the victims out."

Construction workers and the Technical Rescue Team worked hand-in-hand, using tools like jackhammers, to save the men. They were taken to Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, and are said to have serious trauma to their legs.

Tags:  construction safety, job site safety

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