LOWER POTTSGROVE — A worker was trapped in a trench on the 200 block of Evergreen Road for about an hour Wednesday afternoon before being rescued and flown to a hospital.
The Haines and Kibblehouse worker, who was helping install a new water line in Evergreen Road for the Sanatoga Green development, was in stable condition, according to Sanatoga Fire Chief Eric Linsenbigler.
“They were doing some construction work on a new water line and they had a collapse of a trench wall and one occupant became trapped,” Linsenbigler said in a briefing for the media at about 3 p.m.
“The dirt along the side of the trench became dislodged somehow from either vibration or the work in the trench and it allowed the dirt to collapse in, trapping the occupant who was working there,” said Linsenbigler.
From the time of dispatch, it took about an hour and 10 minutes for the worker to be rescued, he said.
Roughly ten area fire companies from around the area responded to the rescue, including the Montgomery County Urban Search and Rescue Team, “which came up from Norristown with their specialized equipment as well,” said Linsenbigler.
He said “most likely” the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration will “come and do their inspection” of the incident to determine if safety protocols were violated or may have contributed to the accident.
The Sanatoga Green development has been years in the making.
The $146 million project won final approval from the township in 2019 and began construction early this year after obtaining approvals from other agencies.
When complete, it will be comprised of 457 housing units, a mix of townhomes and, apartments and two 60,000 square-foot office buildings off Evergreen Road near the Limerick Outlets and Costco.
It has been in the works since 2014 when the township changed the zoning in that part of the township to allow for the project.
It will be built in three phases, with the townhomes being built first, then the office buildings and finally the apartments under an agreement the developers reached with the commissioners, who had expressed concern the housing would be built, but not the office buildings.