OCTOBER 21, 2016
BOSTON, Mass. —Crews are working to recover the bodies of at least one, maybe two, workers who became trapped in a flooded trench Friday, according to Boston fire officials.
Workers were in a hole adjacent to a fire hydrant that started leaking and pouring into the hole, Boston Fire's Steve MacDonald said.
The incident happened just before 1 p.m. at 10 Dartmouth St. in Boston's South End.
"It's a recovery operation right now," Boston Fire Chief John Walsh said.
The Atlantic Drain Service Co. workers were in a trench adjacent to a fire hydrant that started leaking and quickly filling the hole.
"They just started shouting and then the water started rushing from the hole," said witness Sage Pina, who works nearby. "I couldn't really understand what they were saying, but definitely, like, a panic was going on."
The hole was estimated to be about 12-feet deep.
"A couple of workers are in the trench right now, and we are working to shore it up so we can go in," Walsh said.
The workers are contract workers, not employees of the city. Several teams were at the scene trying to recover the bodies and secure the area.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with these two people's families," Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.
Officials said Dartmouth Street from Warren to Tremont streets is expected to be closed for several days.
OCTOBER 21, 2016
BOSTON, Mass. (CBS) – The Boston Fire Department says two people were killed after they were trapped in a trench when a water main broke in the South End.
The water main break broke on Dartmouth Street just after 1 p.m. on Friday.
Firefighters said two people were killed, and crews are still trying to drain the area to safely recover their bodies.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and firefighters on scene of a South End water main break. (Nick Giovanni/WBZ)
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans urged drivers to avoid Dartmouth Street between Warren and Tremont Streets.
The area will likely be closed at least through Saturday morning.
Firefighters are using a large vacuum to remove water from the trench.
It is not yet known how deep the trench is. Water has been shut off to the area.
Firefighters said they are now moving forward as a “recovery not rescue operation.”
Crews worked frantically to drain the trench on Dartmouth Street Friday afternoon. (WBZ-TV)
Mayor Marty Walsh arrived on scene a short time after the incident.
Boston EMS said it has evaluated two people on scene but no one has been transported yet.
“I would say the street is going to be shut down for quite some time,” he said.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been requested to respond to the scene.
Evans said police and firefighters will work with OSHA to determine what caused the deadly incident.
“I heard the officers screaming on the air very quickly to get fire and everyone down here. They realized very quickly we had workers trapped down there,” said Evans.
No further details are currently available.