Worker freed after 8 hours in trench; wife tells trapped man she's pregnant during rescue

'Every story deserves a happy ending,' the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania, posted to Facebook.

By6abc Digital Staff, Bob Brooks WTVD logo
Thursday, January 12, 2023
Worker freed from trench collapse after more than 8 hours
Worker freed from trench collapse after more than 8 hours

ALLENTOWN, Penn. -- Before emergency responders managed to free a worker stuck in an eastern Pennsylvania trench for more than eight hours, the trapped man was given some positive news: he is going to be a father.

The worker became trapped in dirt up to his neck around 2 p.m. Wednesday in Allentown, about 60 miles north of Philadelphia. More than eight hours later, he was pulled to safety.

"And because every story deserves a happy ending ... shortly before we were able to lift him out of the trench, the rescued man's wife told him she was pregnant with their first child!" the City of Allentown posted to Facebook.

The trapped worker was pulled to safety just before 10:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 2023.

Officials tell our sister station WPVI-TV that two men were working when the trench collapsed. Crews were able to rescue the other worker with a ladder shortly after the collapse.

The other man took hours to free.

"We treated him. With an emphasis on the weather, we were worried [about] hypothermia, so the trench was heated. We monitored the atmosphere of the air quality in the trench the whole time. He was given fluids and just general pain medication," said Captain John Christopher with the Allentown Fire Department.

At 9:45 p.m. the city gave this update: "The crews have been able to excavate down to the individual's ankles. He is still alert and responsive. We're hopeful that we'll be able to complete this operation shortly."

The man was rescued successfully at 10:18 p.m.

It's unclear if he suffered any injuries, but officials say he was taken to Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest Hospital to be evaluated.

Officials tell Action News that two men were working when the trench collapsed.

"This was a true team effort and couldn't have been accomplished without all of the support. We're proud of our team!" the City of Allentown said.