Police: Trapped man rescued from trench in Yonkers

Officials say the person was waterproofing the foundation of a home when the trench collapsed in on him.

Jonathan Gordon and Lee Danuff

Mar 10, 2023, 10:26 PM

Updated 472 days ago


News 12's cameras were rolling during a remarkable lifesaving rescue of a man who got trapped after a trench collapsed in Yonkers Friday afternoon.
Officials say the trench collapsed around the man while he was working to waterproof the foundation of a home on Fredrick Place.
"You can't breathe, you can't expand your lungs, you can't get oxygen into your system," says Yonkers Fire Department Commissioner Anthony Pagano.
Fire officials say the worker was trapped almost neck high in dirt. He was pinned between a boulder and the side of the house and was unable to move.
First responders got to the scene within minutes in a situation where every second counted.
Officials say crews broke through the foundation of the home to release pressure from the bottom while simultaneously digging from above ground.
"By hand and with an air chisel, chiseled away and pulled it away from him," says Yonkers Fire Department Lt. Andrew Murphy.
After nearly an hour, he was hoisted into the air and placed onto a stretcher - finally freed.
"We're trained to kind of keep him calm. Talk to him, tell him he's going to be alright, we're going to get you out of here, don't worry about it," says Pagano.
Neighbor Sylvia Alonso was one of the first on the scene.
"I ran for help. I gave [them] six...four...six shovels," she says.
Everyone's quick work paid off - the man was taken to a hospital with what are believed to be injuries that are not life threatening.
Fire Commissioner Pagano says his department trains for emergencies like this, adding, "Tonight, it saved a life."

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