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Corpus Christi Trench Collapse Victim Identified

The victim of Monday’s fatal trench collapse in Corpus Christi, Texas, has been identified.

According to the Nueces County Medical Examiner’s Office, the deceased contractor was a 21-year-old man from Houston. An official cause of death remains pending.

Corpus Christi Trench Collapse Victim Was Installing Conduit Line for AT&T

The Corpus Christi Fire Department responded to reports of a trench collapse near Buccaneer Stadium, in the vicinity of Leopard Street and Buddy Lawrence Drive, shortly before noon on April 5th.

“When fire crews got on scene, they quickly realized that instead of a rescue, they were going to be involved in a body recovery,” Fire Chief Robert Rocha told the Caller-Times.

The victim was apparently part of a crew installing a conduit line for a nearby construction project. AT&T had contracted the project out to American Directional Boring (ADB), which in turn had subcontracted the work to SS Construction and Drilling.

Victim’s Remains Recovered More than 7 Hours After Collapse

An official with ADB told KRIS 6 News that the crew was working to place a metal box inside the trench when the collapse occurred.

The city of Corpus Christi was not involved in the work. While city inspectors are not dispatched to private projects, a permit had been issued allowing AT&T to drill into the street.

Fire crews spent more than 7 hours working to retrieve the victim’s remains, meticulously moving dirt buck-by-bucket and constructing a wood box around the body before that could occur. They were finally able to recover the body around 7:30 p.m.

OSHA Investigating Fatal Corpus Christi Trench Collapse

It’s still not clear what caused Monday’s fatal trench collapse in Corpus Christi.

An inspector from the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration was on the scene Tuesday, taking photos and collecting dirt samples. But so far, investigators are not commenting on the tragedy.

“At this stage, all we can do for you in writing only is to confirm that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has an open and ongoing investigation,” a representative from the U.S. Department of Labor told KRIS 6 News. “More information will be available once the investigation is complete.”

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