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Worker Dies In Durham Trench Collapse; 3 Others Make It Out

One worker died in a trench collapse at a Durham construction site.

RALEIGH — One worker died and three others were freed after a trench collapse at a Durham construction site Wednesday that triggered a frantic effort to dig them out, authorities said.

The Durham Fire Department issued a news release saying the body of the worker who was killed in the trench collapse was recovered in the late afternoon. The person's name wasn't immediately released. The three others made it out alive.

One of the workers climbed out of the trench at a gas station construction site on his own, and two others were freed by first responders, Durham Fire Department Deputy Chief Chris Iannuzzi told reporters. He didn't know their conditions.

Rescuers spent several hours trying to free the fourth worker in the hole that Iannuzzi estimated was at least 6 feet (1.8 meters) deep. He said he believed the worker had been completely covered with dirt.

Some rescuers were working by hand, others were shoring up the walls of the hole, and a vacuum truck and back hoe were on scene to help remove dirt.

News helicopters showed footage of dozens of first responders working at the construction site for a gas station in Durham near Raleigh. Iannuzzi said the site is within Durham city limits but also part of Wake County.