Emergency crews recover man’s body after trench collapse in Lee’s Summit

October 25, 2013 

Emergency crews from both the Lee’s Summit and Kansas City, Mo. Fire Departments recovered the body of a Windsor man who died after a trench collapsed on him Oct. 24.

Emergency personnel recovered the body of 49-year-old Brian D. Allen shortly after 3 p.m. Oct. 25, more than 24 hours after the collapse.

Allen was working in a trench that was about 17 feet deep in the 1000 block of S.W. Drake Circle. He was one of two men connecting a sewer line from a house to a city sewer line when the earth caved in.

Lee’s Summit Fire Department Battalion Chief Tom Wiley said during a news briefing at around 12:30 p.m. Oct. 25 the unpredictable makeup of the soil caused recovery efforts to turn deliberate.

“What we’re digging is basically like concrete,” Wiley said. “It’s so compact at this point. Those buckets that you see (firefighters) bringing out, their just little buckets. It’s just little chips of nice hard Missouri clay. That’s what we’re dealing with the most without disturbing or damaging the victim. in the process.

“Also, the safety of the crews in there. They’re rotating out. Every time we dig in there we have to shore up those areas below that. All that is taking time. Because we are in a recovery mode, we have slowed down our pace considerably to make sure our crews are safe.”

According to Lee’s Summit Police Sgt. Chris Depue at approximately 1:30 p.m. Oct. 24 police officers and emergency crews were called to the home under construction on S.W. Drake Circle on the report of a trench collapse with a man trapped inside.

Upon arrival crews located a trench that was approximately 75 feet long that had been dug from the street up to a residential home under construction. The two-man crew was working to connect the sanitary sewer to the home under construction when the earth shifted in the trench and collapsed on the man who was working down below. The other man was working from the top of the trench and was not harmed.

Crews first on scene worked on rescue efforts before the trench began to collapse again and efforts were forced into a recovery mode.

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