April 17 (UPI) -- Two construction workers died after having been trapped in a 15-foot-deep trench that collapsed on top of them on a Colorado residential property, authorities said.
Windsor Severance Fire Rescue Chief Kris Kazian said in a statement that the two men were working on the trench Tuesday afternoon when it collapsed, completely burying them in dirt and compact soil.
Despite an hours-long rescue operation, both men died from injuries sustained in the accident, Windsor Severance Fire Rescue said.
"The operation has switched from a rescue to a recovery effort," Windsor Severance Fire Rescue said in the release early Wednesday. "The operations to recover the bodies is expected to continue for several more hours."
Windsor fire rescue said it received a 911 call of the collapse at 2:19 p.m. Tuesday and when they arrived on the scene, workers had been able to insert a PVC pipe to one of the trapped men, allowing him to communicate with the rescue crews above ground. No contact with the second worker was made, the release said.
The soil condition of where the workers were trapped made the excavation process more difficult as only small hand shovels and buckets could be used since the ground was both unstable and compacted.
Extreme caution was used to prevent further injury to the two men, the release said.
When rescue workers reached the trapped men, they had already succumbed to their injuries.
The identities of the two men were not released other than that one was in his mid-20s and the other was in his 40s.
Windsor fire rescue said the victim with whom contact was possible spoke to his family with the use of specialized equipment before he died.
"This operation took several hours due to the nature of the situation," Kazian said. "Our focus was on preventing no further harm to those trapped, or to the crews working to rescue them."
Some 60 rescue workers from numerous regional specialized operations teams aided in the operation that was earlier described as a technical incident.
Their bodies have been turned over to the Weld County Coroner's office for investigation.