Rescue Effort Ends: Buried Worker Found Dead In Trench Near Slaton Highway - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/5/05

Rescue Effort Ends: Buried Worker Found Dead In Trench Near Slaton Highway

Minutes before 7pm Tuesday night, rescue workers found the body of a construction worker buried in dirt following an industrial accident.

The accident happened just after 9am Tuesday morning off the Slaton Highway, southeast of Lubbock. That's where crews were working on the storm drainage project. Nine hours after it all began, 22-year-old Rafael Castillo was still buried beneath several feet of dirt. Rescue teams spend the last several hours digging by hand.

When this began, Castillo was working with Utility Contractors of America out of Wolfforth on the Lubbock City Storm Drainage Project. Castillo and a number of other workers were at the bottom of a 30-foot trench inside a trench box, which is designed to protect workers as they lay sand at the bottom of the trench. Several workers were down in the trench, and for some reason Castillo stepped out of the trench box. A collapse occurred and Castillo was trapped.

Crews were helpless to rescue Castillo for fear of further collapse, and further injuries to other workers. They spent hours Tuesday morning securing the walls of the trench before finding him.

NewsChannel 11 is told the man was married and had at least three brothers. One of those brothers is also employed by Utility Contractors of America. He was nearby when his brother was buried. The family was also there when rescue crews found Castillo's body.

NewsChannel 11 is also told that OSHA, the federal agency that manages safe working environments, is investigating the incident.

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