Rescue crews find man trapped in hole near construction site in Ruskin


Crews have found the worker buried under ground at a construction site in Ruskin and will begin the removal process.  The victim has been identified as John Rose, a man in his 50s.

HCFR said during a news conference, the ground is still very unstable.  It could take about two more hours to free Rose.

Watch for a live report from the scene on ABC Action News at 11 p.m.

Original Story:

Crews from Hillsborough County Fire Rescue are still working to a free a man buried under ground at a construction site in Ruskin.

The man fell into a hole Thursday afternoon near I-75 and Teco Road at the South County Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Large vacuum trucks are being used to suck water and mud away from the hole.

"We're placing trench boxes in place, which are essentially steel boxes which make it safe for firefighters and individuals to operate in unsettled soil," said Mike Guincho, Deputy Chief of Operations for HCFR.

According to HCFR officials, the victim was walking along a pipeline with two other workers when the ground gave way.  One worker tried to pull the man from the hole, but the ground pulled the worker down.

Rescue crews have used high intensity microphones to listen for any signs of life.  I-75 was closed in both directions near the scene for a short period of time to make sure they would pick up sound from the man, not cars passing by.

At this point, crews are still calling this a rescue mission. 

During a media briefing, Ron Rogers, the Hillsborough County Fire Rescue Fire Chief, said there is a possibility the man could be in a pipe or air pocket.  

Generators are being used to power lights in the area and air monitoring devices have been set up to make sure rescue crews don't get sick from fumes.

Action News has learned the wife and mother-in-law of the victim are on property with his employer, PCL Construction.

Richard Hewitt, the area manager for PCL Construction, released the following statement through HCFR:

"We are aware there has been an incident on site and we are providing any assistance to the authorities involved. We are unable to provide details at this time."

This is a breaking news alert.  Refresh for updates.

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