Bodies of workers killed in Jarrell trench collapse recovered

Published: Jun. 28, 2022 at 9:53 AM CDT
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JARRELL, Texas (KWTX) - The bodies of two workers trapped about 24 feet underground after a trench collapsed Tuesday morning were recovered Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The first body was located shortly after 4 a.m. Wednesday and pulled out of the ground at about 6 a.m. The second body was recovered at about 7 a.m.

Emergency crews were dispatched to the scene at about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday. The collapse happened at a construction site in the 13600 block of North I-35 Frontage Road.

“Crews determined that it was unsafe to attempt a rescue without a higher level of tools and more manpower,” Chief Mark McAdams with the Jarrell Fire Department said.

Crews from across the region responded and remained on scene for a total of 23 hours, 16 of those hours spent using heavy machinery to meticulously create a path to the victims.

“The process was complicated due to the soil and depth of the trench,” McAdams said.

An official said the men were digging a sewer line at the site of a new home development when the trench collapsed. The cause of the collapse is unknown.

The victims’ names have not yet been released. However, the Mayor of Jarrell said the two men had deep roots in the community.

“They were a Jarrell High School graduate,” Mayor Larry Bush said. “These families used to live in Jarrell, they are now living in Florence, a sister city of ours. We take this very very deeply.”

“Once a cougar always a cougar in our area,” Toni Hicks, Jarrell ISD’s Superintendent, said. “Even though our families are going through a difficult time, our district is there to support them during this difficult and challenging time.”

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