Skip to main content

Construction workers rescued in West Fargo after trench collapses on them

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Two construction workers had to be rescued by fire crews in West Fargo after a trench collapse left them stuck up to their knees and waist in soil.

The workers from All Finish Concrete in Moorhead were working on a new office at 311 15th St. NW on Wednesday, when the north wall of the 15-by-34 foot trench they were working in slipped onto the pair, covering them in sticky clay, according to the Forum News Service.

One of them was in particularly serious trouble, as a 2-by-10 foot concrete panel fell into him, apparently breaking his shin bones, the newspaper notes.

According to a press release from West Fargo Fire Department, local firefighters and police officers freed the worker who was trapped up to his knees shortly after arriving at the scene.

The more seriously injured worker took longer to get out, requiring tools and manpower from the Fargo Fire Department's Technical Rescue Team to remove the concrete that was pinning him.

The rescue took 34 minutes in total, with the workers then taken to the hospital.

Valley News Live reports the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the work site, and will be "questioning how several hundred pounds of dirt could fall on the workers."

The TV station notes that All Finished Concrete employees say they are "nervous" to go back into the trench following the incident, and the work site will remain closed until it's been examined by an engineer.

The incident bears hallmarks to an accident in Lakeville, Minnesota, earlier this year, when a 51-year-old construction worker was killed after hundreds of pounds of wet soil fell on top of him. Authorities said that earth weighing as much as a small car fell onto Gerald Lyle Thompson as he was installing drain tile at the perimeter of the building lot.

In the past 10 years, across all job industries, OSHA figures show 15 people across the United States have died as the result of a wall collapse.

Next Up


Charges: Driver had been drinking at party before striking teens, killing one

The victims were walking home from Walmart at the time of the crash, according to court documents.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 4.32.08 PM

State: Beltrami County Jail conditions present imminent risk of 'life-threatening harm'

The state is taking action to force changes at the Beltrami County Jail.


Tributes to 15-year-old girl killed in Burnsville crash

The teenager was a student at Burnsville High School.

police lights

Charges: New Ulm couple abused young children with cruel punishments

Warning: The following contains upsetting details about child abuse.

Screen Shot 2023-01-30 at 1.18.29 PM

Boy reels in 9.5lb walleye, wins pickup truck at Brainerd ice fishing tourney

Contestants come from all over the country compete in the annual event held in Brainerd.


Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon in northern MN kicks off in -25F temperatures

The race is considered one of the 50 most challenging races in the world.



Bodies of construction workers recovered from St. Paul trench collapse

Fire officials said both bodies had been located, the second after about 12 hours of searching.

Screen Shot 2021-01-19 at 1.32.19 PM

Firefighters rescue worker after trench fall in Rochester

The construction worker fell about 15 feet.

Minor injuries reported after risers collapse during student choir concert at Fargo mall

A choir from Carl Ben Eielson Middle School was performing at West Acres mall when the risers collapsed underneath the students. The mall's general manager tells the Fargo Forum injuries so far seem to be limited to bumps and bruises. The risers are about 2 feet high. You can check out a video of the incident at the Fargo Forum's site.

Light-rail construction worker rescued from hole

Rescue crews put a harness on a construction worker and pulled him out of a hole he had just dug near the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul on Monday morning. He was taken to Regions Hospital with minor injuries.