2 dead in downstate trench collapse

March 10, 2008 8:23:00 PM PDT
Two workers who had been trapped in a collapsed trench since 3 p.m. Monday have died.Crews tried for seven hours to rescue them at a sewage treatment center in Millstadt, about 18 miles south of St. Louis.

Around 10 p.m., authorities reported the workers did not survive the collapse. The victims have not been identified.

Brian Donley is a deputy chief for the St. Clair Special Emergency Services. He says one of the bodies has been recovered. Donley says they have to do much of the excavation by hand.

As of 10 p.m., rescuers were still trying to retrieve one of the bodies. The workers were installing a sewer line.

Friends and family of the workers have gathered at the scene.

Donley says it took rescuers several hours to access the men. He says once they did the St. Clair County coroner confirmed the men were dead.

The trench was eight to ten feet deep and made of dirt and clay.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.