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Man Dies in Collapsed Trench in Pacific Palisades, Co-Worker Rescued With Serious Injuries

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Two workers became trapped in a Pacific Palisades trench Thursday afternoon, but sadly only one man survived the deadly accident.

The Los Angeles Fire Department was dispatched to the North Temescal Canyon location shortly after 1:30 p.m. where they found an approximately 20' long u-shaped trench, ranging from 110" to 10' wide, and up to 15' deep, according to the LAFD.

Inside the collapsed trench were two men employed by a privately contracted company, working for the city on a storm water project. They had been excavating the ground in the location with back-hoes. One of the men "was buried nearly up to hips, conscious but unable to escape," while the other man was "buried up to his chest, unconscious and [not] breathing."

The LAFD got to work, tackling the delicate task of rescuing the conscious man from the trench:

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Just before 3:00 p.m., the first victim a was safely rescued and transported via ground ambulance to an awaiting LAFD helicopter at Will Rogers Beach parking lot. He was then transported to UCLA hospital in serious but stable condition.

The second victim, however, did not survive the accident. It took over nine hours for the LAFD to recover his body from the collapsed trench. The L.A. County Coroner's Office has identified the man as 50-year-old Gilbert Vargas, according to City News Service. The coroner's office will determine the cause, time and manner of Vargas' death, said Erik Scott of the LAFD. A coroner's investigator said the body would likely be examined over the weekend.