Watch: Trapped workman freed by multi-agency rescue effort after trench collapses in Harrogate
A trapped workman has been freed by emergency crews in Harrogate after a rescue operation lasting close to six hours.
Rossett Green Lane was closed after a trench across the road collapsed, leaving the man initially stuck up to his waist in clay and tarmac this morning (Friday, April 6). It was believed to be approximately five metres deep.
Fire, ambulance and police crews were called out from North and West Yorkshire to assist in the rescue efforts after it was reported at roughly 9am. He was freed by 3.30pm.
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Group Manager, Phil Whild speaking at the scene said that that although his injuries were still to be confirmed the man had been able to walk after being freed.
Paying tribute to the co-operative efforts of crews involved in the 'hazardous situation' he said the operation had been successful despite conditions at the scene.
He said: "This was incredibly important, the fire service couldn't do it by themselves. Communication is always the key, we had ambulance personnel working alongside fire service personnel, to undertake excavation within the trench and a lot of work went into that to make it secure.This included extensive shoring up procedures.
"We did have some debris overhanging as well that was a concern,had that fallen into the trench it could have caused serious harm or death."
He added: "Its been very arduous conditions throughout the day to release him but I am very pleased that is now the case and he has been released pretty much unharmed."
Alongside crews from Harrogate, Knaresborough and Tadcaster emergency service personnel from West Yorkshire were deployed throughout the rescue efforts.
Mr Whild said: "It was a multi-agency approach to release the gentleman from beneath the road.
"We had North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service local crews deployed, we had the Area Response Team from the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and were assisted greatly by the Technical Rescue Team from Cleckheaton in West Yorkshire who were involved through most of the operation."
A Yorkshire Air Ambulance Crew transported the man to Leeds General Infirmary to be checked after he was freed.
During the operation electricity was cut to 28 properties from around 10am. Northern Powergrid were contacted by the emergency services to carry this out as the trench contained an underground power cable.
Power had still not been restored at the time of publishing this article (9pm, Friday, April 6) but the utlity company stated workers were currently on site.
Following the incident the fire service also stated there would be an investigation by the Health and Safety Executive with the support of North Yorkshire Police.