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Workers rescued after accident at sewer district construction site in Shrewsbury

Workers rescued after accident at sewer district construction site in Shrewsbury

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Updated at 11:40 a.m. with more details from the Metropolitan Sewer District.

SHREWSBURY — Three workers were trapped Wednesday morning under a piece of concrete about 200 feet underground while working on the Deer Creek tunnel project, officials said.

Seven workers with KCI Construction Co. were at the bottom of the hole about 9:30 a.m. working on a tunnel pump station project off Carr Lane in Shrewsbury, said Sean Hadley, spokesman for the Metropolitan Sewer District.

Workers were attempting to lower large concrete forms that are used to support the tunnel when three workers became trapped, though they were not fully pinned under the form, Hadley said.

The exact nature and cause of the malfunction that caused the problem is still under investigation, Hadley said.

MSD's Sean Hadley says three people were trapped, leaving two injured, as concrete forms were being lowered into a pump station shaft on the Deer Creek tunnel project. (Video by Christian Gooden/Post-Dispatch)

Firefighters from multiple agencies responded and were able to use the construction site’s lift baskets and equipment to rescue the workers.

Two of the workers had non-life threatening injuries to their legs, including one who was transported to a hospital for treatment, said Kirkwood Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Zaitz.

The trapped workers were lifted out of the tunnel within the hour, Hadley said.

All other workers were evacuated, and work on the project was paused until structural engineers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can investigate.

The Deer Creek tunnel project is a $150 million project set to be completed in October 2022. The project includes more than 4 miles of tunnel from the north side of the St. Louis Galleria to the Lemay Wastewater Treatment Plant.

An SAK Construction worker, Shawn Pritchett, 35, was killed while working on the Deer Creek tunnel project in September 2019, when a crane swung and hit him.

Rachel Rice of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

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