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Worker remains in critical condition after rescue from sewer pipe in south Kansas City

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Posted at 9:26 AM, Jul 08, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 30-year-old male worker was rescued from a sewer pipe in south Kansas City early Monday morning.

The Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department was called just before 8 a.m. to 9207 Old Sante Fe Road on a confined space rescue.

Fire officials said a man was found unconscious, face down in a pool of 6-8 inches of water inside the sewer pipe.

Crews then entered the drain and evaluated the man, who was found to have no pulse, per KCFD.

A rope was used to extricate the man from the manhole so crews could initiate CPR.

KCFD said the man was transported to an area hospital and was last reported to be in critical condition but "alive and breathing on his own."

Following the man's rescue, fire crews sent a hazmat team down to monitor the air quality.

While no toxic substances were found, KCFD said oxygen levels were at 11%. Anything under 19.5% is dangerous, KCFD said.

The worker remained in critical condition as of Monday afternoon.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into the incident. OSHA is investigating the injured worker's employer, Global Earthworks and Underground, and the site's general contractor, Kittle Property Group.

Global Earthworks and Underground said in a statement to KSHB 41 that the company is working to "gather all the facts and assess the situation thoroughly" as it "fully cooperates" with OSHA.

"The safety and well-being of our employees, subcontractors, visitors, and the public is our top priority," the employer said in a statement. "... Global Earthwork & Underground is committed to transparency and open communication and will provide updates as we are able."