Construction worker rescued after getting pinned under 3-ton excavator

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A worker trapped under an excavator at a Canal Street construction site was rescued Tuesday by Manchester firefighters. Photo/Jeffrey Hastings

Incident Type: Technical Rescue
Address: 215 Canal Street
Dispatch: 1:19 p.m.
Arrival: 1:22 p.m.
Victim Extricated: 2 p.m.
Resources: Engines 11 & 5, Truck 1, Truck 7 & Collapse Trailer, Rescue 1, Car 1, Squad 1, K1, 01, 02 & 03, PIC 1, X20,

MANCHESTER, NH – A worker at a construction site on Canal Street was rescued after he became trapped under an excavator Tuesday.

According to a narrative of the incident issued by Manchester Fire Battalion Chief Jonathan Fosher, crews were dispatched at 1:19 p.m. for a report of a construction site accident involving a rolled-over excavator with entrapment.

First units arrived on scene at 1:22 p.m. and established Canal Street Incident Command. Companies found an excavator upside down in a trench that was approximately 6 feet in width, 5 feet in depth, and 20 feet in length. The operator of the machine was pinned on the underside of the machine which weighed an estimated 6,000 pounds.

Technical rescue operations were commenced with additional resources requested, which included a collapsed trailer and multiple companies for manpower. The operations of stabilizing, lifting, cribbing and shoring up the machine was in conjunction with medical stabilization and care of the trapped operator. Companies used various hydraulic rams, cutters, high-pressure airbags, and hand tools to free the patient. The patient was removed from the trench and transported to Elliot Hospital for medical treatment and care.

Civilian Injuries: One adult male

Emergency Service Injuries: No reported injuries at this time.

Special Circumstances: Technical rescues involving heavy machinery coupled with the complexities of limited access and a working area of an unstable trench make this an extremely complex and technical operation. A successful extrication under these circumstances requires a well-trained, highly focused, and professional team working in a complex and dynamic environment. Trench rescue alone is a high-risk low-frequency event, and the addition of heavy equipment involved, places this as a novel event.

Incident Commander: Battalion Chief Jonathan Fosher

Above: Press play to hear from Fire Chief Cashin with more details on the rescue effort. Video footage by Jeffrey Hastings.


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Manchester Fire Department

The mission of the Manchester Fire Department is to provide the City of Manchester with superior customer service and integrated emergency response to any situation that threatens the life, safety and well-being of people and property.