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Emily Welker, Published October 31 2013

MN man breaks leg after being trapped in trench in Mapleton

MAPLETON, N.D. – A Minnesota man is recovering from injuries he sustained while being trapped 17 feet below ground after falling into a construction trench here Thursday afternoon.

Cass County Cpl. Tim Briggeman said deputies responded to a call at 2:13 p.m. that a construction worker, Adam Loy, 32, of Madison, Minn., had fallen into a trench his company had been digging for some new sewer lines.

Loy had been working by himself with a backhoe to excavate for the new sewage lines, Briggeman said.

That’s when either the wall of the trench caved in or the top of the trench fell in on top of Loy, pinning his left leg in place.

Briggeman said three or four of Loy’s fellow employees with Minnesota-based Kuechle Underground Inc., jumped into the trench and were able to shovel him out. The co-workers had him freed by the time the first sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene less than 10 minutes later, Briggeman said.

“Hats off,” said Jeremy Kuechle, project manager for Kuechle Underground, of his employees’ fast work in getting Loy out.

Loy broke his leg in the incident, Kuechle said, but he was doing well and in good spirits later Thursday.

The company was conducting an internal investigation and following its safety plan protocol in the wake of the incident, Kuechle said.

“We make sure we do our due diligence,” he said.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will investigate the incident, Cass County Sgt. Tara Morris said in a news release.