Trapped worker dies in San Francisco

1 min read

A utility worker died while trapped in a collapsed trench and buried under dirt and concrete in San Francisco. 

According to the San Francisco Fire Department, the victim was working on a sewer line when 8-10 feet of debris fell on top of him. 

The unfortunate incident happened at a worksite in the Lower Haight neighborhood on the corner of Divisadero and Oak Streets. 

The victim had been working underground on a sewer project for the city’s utilities commission. 

“They were below ground in an open trench doing sewer upgrade work,” Gorden said.

Fire crews immediately dig down to rescue him. 

The worker was trapped for two hours before his lifeless body was found. 

Fire Captain Jonathan Baxter said, “After being evaluated by our paramedics and our department physician … unforcedly this individual did not survive the injuries associated to this.”

According to the San Francisco PUC, the victim was a private contractor working on a city sewer line. It’s unclear why the trench suddenly collapsed. There are multiple agencies investigating this death, including Cal OSHA.

Gorden said, “We are inspecting to see what they were doing at the time of this trench collapse.” Gorden said safety is the number one priority for any construction site.

As of Thursday afternoon, officials had not released the victim’s identity.


Charlene is a Bay Area journalist who hails from the small community of Fresno. Drawing from her experience writing for her college paper, Charlene continues to advocate for free press and local journalism. She also volunteers in all the beach cleanups she can because she loves the water.