A man died Sunday (May 5) in the construction zone at the Vue Apartments on Stadium Drive in Fayetteville, authorities said.
The body of 20-year-old Brannon Rhine will be sent to the state crime lab in Little Rock for an autopsy to determine his cause of death, according to city Fire Marshal Harley Hunt.
Police received a call around 5 p.m. to assist the fire department in rescuing a construction worker buried under dirt.
Construction workers were digging a hole when the equipment struck a sewer line, Fayetteville police Sgt. Craig Stout said. When the man jumped in to clear debris, the hole collapsed and buried him.
Another worker jumped in to uncover the man’s head and face before calling 911. Emergency workers responded within five minutes, Stout said, but the man was unresponsive by the time help arrived.
“It took an hour and a half to extricate him,” Stout said.
Stout said rescue efforts were complicated by the instability of the hole, and workers and emergency personnel had to use shovels and their hands to free the man.
The police and fire marshal are investigating the accident. Hunt says they are trying to determine what type of shoring was in place in the trench at the time of Rhine’s death.
The off-campus Vue Apartments are scheduled to open this year.