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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A contractor has died after being trapped when a trench collapsed at a construction site in the East Oak Lane section of Philadelphia.
Fire crews initially responded to the 100 block of West Walnut Park Drive around 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Police say that three people were working underground when dirt and concrete fell into their work area roughly 15 feet deep and 45 feet long.
Two of the men were able to escape but Anthony Smith became trapped underground and later died.
“It’s just chaos bro. Like its just chaos,” said Kevin Blake, who’s Smith’s cousin.
Blake isn’t just Smith’s cousin, he worked with him at their contracting company. Blake says he went to the store this morning to pick up construction supplies when his phone rang.
“Once the collapse started everything just filled in the whole and unfortunately the gentleman was caught in the whole and pulled down and it appears he was thrown against one of the walls,” said Deputy Commissioner Gary Loesch with the Philadelphia Fire Department.
Authorities say the heavy rains made cause more moisture around the trench eventually leading to the collapse. Now a family has to say goodbye to a man who loved life.
“He’s a great guy and a great family man. He has two beautiful kids. A great wife. He’s a hard-working guy bro. He helps everybody,” said Blake.