Worker Dies After He Was Buried Alive by Dirt in a Front Yard Excavation Job on Aspen Dr Buffalo Grove

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Rescue attempt for worker killed in trench collapse on Aspen Drive Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022. YouTube Tips ⓘ

A man working in a trench in the front yard of a home to repair an underground sewer line in the front yard was killed when heavy dirt walls collapsed in the trench and buried him alive. After suffering underground, buried in heavy, suffocating dirt for about 65 minutes, Nikodem Zaremba, age 27, of Elmwood Park, Illinois was pronounced dead Monday evening at 7:22 p.m., according to the Cook County Medical Examiners Office.

Police and firefighters, and paramedics from Buffalo Grove responded about 5:29 p.m. Monday, December 12, 2022 to a report that a worker was in a hole in a front yard, and that the hole collapsed on the worker in the block of 1000 Aspen Drive.

By 5:30 p.m. a caller reported the victim was buried, and was not conscious and not breathing.




Firefighters on arrival reported police were on the scene with them and that a construction crew was working frantically to free a coworker in the front yard of a single-family home.

A local response for technical rescue teams (TRT) below grade was immediately activated, and then a MABAS Division 1 TRT response was activated by 5:35 p.m. Firefighters and/or TRT below-grade techs from Barrington, Bartlett, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Long Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, and Wheeling responded to the scene.

Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.

Fire command reported that firefighters were continuing to dig, and had applied shoring. Patient contact in the hole with medical treatment by paramedics was achieved by 6:06 p.m. while dozens of firefighters from several communities were working — assessing the operation, and digging by hand with shovels to reach the worker underground.

All staged crews were requested to move up to the scene by 6:07 p.m., and a vacuum truck was requested to expedite to the scene by 6:13 p.m. An Arlington Heights Public Works vacuum truck was assigned to respond to the scene by 6:20 p.m. A Buffalo Grove Public Works vacuum truck and a Wheeling Public Works vacuum truck were also assigned to respond to the scene. As of 6:35 p.m. the Arlington Heights Public Works Vacuum truck had not departed for Buffalo Grove because employees needed to get permission to respond from the Director of Public Works in Arlington Heights. Next, the worker was freed at about 6:35 p.m., and the vacuum trucks were no longer needed. Then digging with hand shovels slowed down at about 6:35 p.m., and police move the crowd of onlookers back.




Grieving co-workers were standing by through the entire rescue attempt. Family members arrived after they were notified of the emergency at the excavation scene. There was an outburst of grief when officials told them that the worker in the hole had not survived. Police were consoling co-workers and family, including children; and had to hold back family members who were trying to push their way to the scene.

The 27-year-old was working in the front yard of that home on Aspen Drive with his coworker and stepfather prior to the incident, according to fiancé Nicole Kovodha (Jessica D’Onofrio/ABC 7 Chicago) YouTube Tips ⓘ

The scene was turned over to police at about 6:55 p.m., and the hole was secured by a board-up crew. As of Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m., the Village of Buffalo Grove did not release information about the incident on social media, and did not inform the public regarding what authorities are leading the investigation of the death of an employee in their community.

As recently has April 2022, OSHA investigation results reported that an October 2021 partial trench collapse in Austin, Texas that killed a worker and seriously injured another, was associated with 1) a failure to have a trench protective system in place, 2) worker exposure to cave-in hazards, 3) failure to inspect the excavation, and 4) worker exposure to falling material and equipment.

Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Firefighters rapidly, digging with hand shovels for a technical rescue below grade in the block of 1000 Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Firefighters rapidly, digging with hand shovels for a technical rescue below grade in the block of 1000 Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.




Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Technical Rescue teams at the scene of a below-grade collapse emergency on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.

DEVELOPING …

The information in this article is an early report published before any summary information was confirmed or released by police or fire authorities.




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Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.




Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022
Photo at the scene of a fatal trench collapse on Aspen Drive in Buffalo Grove on Monday, December 12, 2022.
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