Work at site of deadly trench collapse in Huntsville suspended

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Work is suspended at a construction site in Huntsville where a trench collapse killed one man, and sent two other workers to the hospital.

Huntsville City Spokesperson Kelly Schrimsher said on Friday that it is unknown when work will resume on the stormwater drainage system near Joe Davis Stadium.

“With the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Public Works employees won’t return until Tuesday, and the City will have grief counselors available that morning to meet with the workers”, said Schrimsher.

Schrimsher also stated that further examinations of the incident will take place, but as of right now there are no new details on the situation.

A spokesperson for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is often involved in similar incidents, said it would not be involved in this one.

“OSHA has been informed that the employees were city employees. OSHA does not have jurisdiction,” said OSHA spokesperson Erika Ruthman.

On Thursday, Huntsville Fire Chief Mac McFarlen confirmed crews were called to the stadium at 12:53 p.m.

In addition to Huntsville Fire Heavy Rescue, McFarlen said Madison Fire Heavy Rescue was called to the scene as well, along with HEMSI, Huntsville Police, and the Madison County Rescue Squad.

Huntsville Police confirm emergency crews rescued two people that were taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

McFarlen confirmed a third person was killed in the collapse. Authorities identified the man who died in the incident as 55-year-old Bobby Green.

“The City of Huntsville mourns the loss of one of our valued members of our Public Works team. I ask that our City family and the Huntsville community pray for the families of Bobby Green and for the two employees who were injured. Bobby will be missed by many,” said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

Those who knew Green have been taking to social media. A former co-worker, who worked with Green at a different job, posted: “He was an amazing person, and our whole department is devastated about his passing.”

All three victims are City of Huntsville Public Works employees.

“No matter how much equipment or manpower you’ve got, a situation like this is extremely difficult,” said McFarlen. “There are so many things that can go wrong…If you get enough people up there standing around and walking you may cause a secondary collapse.”

The Department of Public Works has been doing site work around the stadium to prepare the site for a new facility that will replace Joe Davis Stadium. The completion of the facility is set for the fall of 2022.

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