HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - Authorities are working to identify the two workers who died Tuesday when a trench collapsed in Hoover.
The two men were working on a water drainage project on Twin Pine Circle near Preserve Parkway. The cause of the collapse is being investigated.
The workers were located close to each other in the trench. They were approximately seven feet underground. There were other workers present, but only two were trapped in the collapse.
“This morning when they woke up, this is not what they expected to hear at five or six o’clock in the afternoon,” said Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato. "Our hearts and our prayers go out to them. We ask the entire community to lift them up.”
Following the collapse, workers were unable to use heavy equipment to remove dirt from the collapsed trench and were forced to dig manually with shovels, by hand or with buckets.
“We can’t use heavy equipment to remove dirt and debris from the victim because we could cause further injury to the victim, we could also cause the dirt, walls of the trench to slough away and a cover-up first responders and rescuers,” said Hoover Fire Department Chief, Clay Bentley. "So, it takes us a while to put trench panels in and go down and dig manually with shovels, by hand, and with buckets. “
Authorities say the trench will not be filled in until the investigation is complete. There is no threat to people in the area, but they ask people to stay away from the area as crews continue to work.
“I hate to see it for anybody, especially with it being this close. I just can’t imagine what their families are going to go through as they get this news that after they went off to work they are not coming home tonight,” said neighbor Eric Hill. "Just hug everybody before they leave in the morning and never take a day for granted.”