Fire crew rescues two construction workers at UNC-Chapel Hill trench collapse

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Chapel hill fire department
Images of the rescue from the Chapel Hill Fire Department

Two contractors were injured when a fortifying beam fell on them at a construction site on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus on July 9.

Both injured workers were conscious when they were rescued by the Chapel Hill Fire Department and taken to UNC Hospitals, but their status is unknown, UNC reported.

“This morning, two construction contractors were rescued after a fortifying beam fell on them at a repair site at Medical Drive and South Columbia Street,” UNC vice-chancellor of finance and operations Jonathan Pruitt said in a statement.

“The project is focused on repairing a utility steam vault. Thanks to the swift response from UNC Police; Chapel Hill Fire Department; Orange County Emergency Services and UNC Environment, Health and Safety, the men were conscious when they were pulled out and transported to UNC Hospitals. We appreciate the quick and collaborative efforts of the first responders.”

“I’m extremely proud of our personnel for their calculated safety, speed, and professionalism with which they responded to this call,” Fire Chief Matthew Sullivan said in a statement. “Anytime someone is compromised below ground, the situation is very serious. Our firefighters utilized their recent training to respond accordingly.”

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