BOSTON (WHDH) - Two people are presumed dead after a water main break flooded a trench where several workers were working.
A private construction crew was working on a brownstone on Dartmouth Street between Montgomery and Tremont when a water main break sent water into the trench. Several workers were able to escape the scene, but two could not.
Recovery efforts are continuing in the South End as workers are currently working on securing the structure before the bodies can be recovered.
Witnesses described a panicked scene as water rushed into the street, with workers escaping and then rushing to try to save their colleagues.
Workers were “visibly shaken” after the incident.
Fire officials say a “recovery operation” is currently underway.
“I think it’s going to be quite a while,” before emergency crews can recover the deceased, said Boston Commissioner William Evans.
Police, fire, and federal workplace investigators are currently on the scene.
Water is turned off in the area, the road has been blocked off, and city officials are asking people to avoid the area.
According to the commissioner, the hole was roughly 12 feet deep.
The Boston Fire Department has requested a response from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA).
Officials are currently investigating the structural integrity of the sidewalk and street.
Boston Police have confirmed that Dartmouth Street will be closed to traffic from Tremont to Warren and is expected to be closed through the evening commute. Police ask the public to avoid the area.
Stay with 7News for more information as it becomes available.
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