UPDATE: Trench collapse victim condition upgraded
By: Cole Miller
The 38-year-old man was rescued from a trench collapse in southeast Lincoln Friday.
Jason Olsen is now listed in fair condition at Bryan East.
It was a day on the job site gone terribly wrong for Olsen last Friday. Dozens of firefighters worked frantically to rescue him after he became trapped in a collapsed trench.
“He was probably about 10 feet below grade, so he was quite a ways down underground,” Battalion Chief Eric Jones said.
Lincoln Fire and Rescue took the call just before 3 p.m. Friday afternoon at a home construction site near 90th and Old Cheney.
“It was just an extremely large hole, larger than what we find typical here in the city limits type of trench collapse,” Jones said.
With dirt up to Olsen's chest, Jones said he was going in and out of consciousness.
“When you're trapped in that type of soil, it compresses and makes it so you can't take a full breath,” Jones said.
“So, the very first thing our guys did was they freed some of that dirt from around his chest.”
Firefighters then used lumber to create a shoring around Olsen to make sure there wasn't another collapse.
“That's been a problem around the country, is that rescuers go in before it's shored up and we have a secondary collapse and our rescuers are trapped.”
About 40 minutes later, a vacuum truck arrived, sucking up the loose dirt. Firefighters say that allowed them to eventually free Olsen, pulling him out to safety and out of danger.
“I heard him talking as he came out of the hole,” Jones said.
There were multiple workers at the site when the trench collapsed. No word however on exactly how all of this happened. Again, Jason Olsen is in critical condition.