Worker dug out after ditch collapse in Northampton

  • Northampton Police and Northampton Fire Rescue responders tend to a worker who was partially covered in a ditch collapse during an excavation on a private lot on Williams Street just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Emergency responders from Northampton Fire Rescue lift a worker out of a ditch that collapsed during an excavation on a private lot on Williams Street just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Emergency responders from Northampton Fire Rescue tend to a worker who was partially covered in a ditch collapse during an excavation on a private lot on Williams Street just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021. —STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN GUTTING

Staff Writer
Published: 8/3/2021 8:40:52 PM

NORTHAMPTON — A Westfield woman was injured Tuesday when the ditch she was working in collapsed, burying her chest-deep in dirt.

The 32-year-old worker was taken by ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for treatment of potentially serious injuries, according to Northampton Police Capt. Victor Caputo.

At around 1 p.m., a private contractor crew was installing a sewer line in the area of 30 Williams St. The worker was standing in a ditch measuring about 60 feet long, 6 feet wide and 9½ feet at its deepest point.

A section of the dirt wall, about 7½ feet high, collapsed on the woman for reasons that are not yet known.

Other workers used an excavator and then their hands to free the woman as much as possible; emergency crews arrived on scene within minutes to complete the rescue, Caputo said.

The woman complained of pain and difficulty breathing.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, will likely conduct an investigation, Caputo said.




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