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Vasquez became trapped in the trench when it collapsed while his crew was working on a sewer line Thursday.
A neighbor called 911, and Irving Fire Department captain Paul Harris and his crew answered the call.
Vasquez was completely buried at first, but his colleagues were able to uncover him down to his waist. Capt. Harris said this increased the risk for everyone because the trench could have collapsed again.
“He was scared. He knew what had already happened to him,” said Capt. Harris. “He knew what could have happened to him, and he wanted out of that hole.”
Rescue crews crafted a safe zone inside the trench by using plywood boards secured with struts. They were able to save Vasquez after using shovels, buckets and a water vacuum truck to clean the storm sewers.
Capt. Harris said this was his fourth trench rescue in 35 years, but the first with a happy ending.
Vasquez was airlifted to the hospital. He is currently doing well.
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