Investigation continues into deadly trench collapse in Brier Creek

Wake County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — On Thursday, people in the community brought flowers and notes to the construction site in Brier Creek where one construction worker was killed and three others were injured in a trench collapse on Wednesday morning.

The incident happened at a gas station construction site near T.W. Alexander Drive and Glenwood Avenue around 11 am on Wednesday.

As CBS 17 previously reported, four construction workers became trapped after the trench collapsed. While three of the workers were rescued within an hour, the fourth worker did not make it out alive.

The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating the collapse and officials said it could be months before they know exactly what happened.

The Fire Department told CBS 17 there was no trench barrier in place at the construction site where the four workers were working on Wednesday. In addition, the fire officials said there were no shoring or ground pads.

Trench barriers, or a trench box, is a steel or aluminum structure that is used to protect workers while performing their duties in a trench to avoid cave-ins.

On Thursday, CBS 17 learned the company overseeing the construction project is DR Mozeley, a company based in Georgia that has been in business for more than 60 years.

The company would not talk on camera, but officials said on the day of the collapse they had contracted with the company J Squared Plumbing out of Georgia.

DR Mozeley officials said that J Squared Plumbing was scheduled to work on a water meter assembly in a three-foot well, not in a deeper trench.

The company told CBS 17 they are sending their thoughts and prayers to the victims involved in the collapse and that they are “committed to following all industry safety standards.”

CBS 17 did some digging and found 11 OSHA inspections had been done on the company in the last 10 years.

One of the inspections came after an employee was run over and killed by a grader at a job site in Kings Mountain.

In addition to the one fatality, OSHA has cited the company for 14 safety violations since 2010 which resulted in several fines.

Authorities have still not released the names of the victims.

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