Contractor Killed in Trench Collapse

By David Chang
|  Monday, Sep 23, 2013  |  Updated 6:33 PM EDT
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A crane operator died during construction of a movie theater complex in Middletown, Delaware. This is NBC10 Delaware Bureau Chief Tim Furlong's first report from the scene.

NBC10.com - Tim Furlong

A crane operator died during construction of a movie theater complex in Middletown, Delaware. This is NBC10 Delaware Bureau Chief Tim Furlong's first report from the scene.

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A contractor is dead after a trench collapse in Middletown, Delaware.

The contractor was working at a construction site near Garden Gate and Spring Arbor drives shortly before noon. Officials say they are currently building a movie theater at the location.

The man was operating an excavator and digging out a trench to put in sewer lines just to the right of the theater. Investigators say he got out of his rig to check what he was doing when the ground suddenly collapsed beneath him, causing him to fall into a six-foot trench.

An inspector found the man, whose head was above water at the time, and immediately went to get help. When officials returned to the scene, they say the man’s head was covered with mud. By the time crews dug him out of the muddy trench, he was already dead.

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Middletown Fire Chief Frank Bailey told Delaware Online the victim, who has not yet been identified, worked with Austin & Bednash, a construction company based in Newark, Delaware.

Officials continue to investigate the accident. Stay with NBC10.com for more details on this developing story.

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