The two construction workers killed in a trench collapse in St. Paul last Friday have been identified by family and friends.
Bob Brandtjen and Jeff Jeanetta were working at an apartment construction site when a trench they were in collapsed around 3 p.m. Friday. By 4 p.m., rescue crews revealed that their efforts had become focused on recovering the victim bodies.
The construction site is located on the 700 block of Mount Curve Boulevard, approximately two blocks northeast of the Ford Bridge in the Highland Park community.
Brandtjen was the sole provider for his son, who just graduated from St. Thomas Academy and is set to pursue an engineering degree at the University of Minnesota, according to a GoFundMe campaign. The GoFundMe has already raised nearly $100,000.
"While in a trench, it suddenly collapsed on him and his boss," the GoFundMe on behalf of Jeanetta reads. "After 6 hours of endless searching our father was finally recovered. He is survived and surrounded by 6 kids and many grand kids. Along with lots of family and friends. He was a veteran and he was a jack of all trades and enjoyed sharing his craft with everyone. He had a heart of gold and would help anyone. He will be greatly missed."
The first victim was recovered at 9:20 p.m. more than six hours after the collapse. The second body was recovered around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.
"Trenches are very dangerous. Anytime soil has moved it’s more prone to shift or move again. Unfortunately, victims of trench collapses usually die within minutes due to crushing injuries or asphyxia," said St. Paul Fire Dep. Chief Roy Mokosso.
An investigation into the collapse is ongoing.