One dead after Horn Lake trench collapse

HORN LAKE, MS (WMC-TV) - One man died and another was rescued by emergency workers after being trapped in a construction trench Tuesday in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

Police said the men became trapped in the trench while working on a sewer line in the Willow Point subdivision, located north of Goodman Road near Horn Lake Road.

Police were first called to the scene just after 4:00 p.m.. Soon after, a massive rescue effort was mounted, as emergency officials worked to hold back the earthen walls that had collapsed on the workers.

Video from Chopper 5 showed one of the men, covered in a blanket, as he was carried on a stretcher from the trench to a nearby ambulance shortly after 11:00 p.m. The man, who has not been identified, later died.

Bertram Hill, 50, was pulled from the trench shortly before 1:00 a.m. Wednesday, to the applause of rescue workers. He was alert as he was transported by helicopter to The Med for treatment.

"It's been heart breaking," said Horn Lake Police Chief Darryl Whaley. "Every minute, the rescue workers are trying with everything that they have to rescue these individuals and get them out safely. It's been kinda hard to watch, but I'm glad its over.

Though he was trapped under 10 feet of dirt, recuers credit Hill's survival to a small air pocket.

"God took care of this man. To be honest, we lost contact with him several...several times completely under the dirt," said Horn Lake Fire Chief David Linville. "The air pocket that kept him alive, I have to say, was a miracle. I will give that to the Lord tonight."

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