Man Almost Buried Alive

An unlicensed contractor fell into a trench that was at least 8-foot deep

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC San Diego

    A city inspector returned to a South Park home on Wednesday to make sure it was structurally sound after a man was buried in a trench that was at least eight-feet deep. 
     
    An unlicensed contractor was hired to do construction work on the property in the 1800 block of 29th Street on Tuesday, according to a city inspector.

    “They were trying to put a drain in because of all the rain. It was going down into the canyon, it was causing damage to the house,” said Nancy Mestyanek.

    All of a sudden, the ground beneath him collapsed and in a matter of seconds he was trapped underneath the dirt.

    “He was buried up to his waist, his legs were folded back behind him. A shovel he was using was between his legs complicating the rescue,” said San Diego Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Perry Peake.

    The man was conscious, but extremely uncomfortable while rescue workers tried to free him.  It was a tedious operation. The space was so small that only two workers could be in the hole at one time.

    After more than an hour, Using their hands and small shovels, crews were able to dig the man out.

    “He was flat, he wasn't moving. They had a neck brace on him and he had oxygen on him,” said Mestyanek.

    The victim was taken to the trauma center at UCSD Medical Center and is expected to be okay.

    “It took them a while to extricate him they took him away in an ambulance, so it's good that he's out,” said neighbor Jeanette Voss.

    The tenants were allowed back into their home after structural engineers with the city completed their investigation.