Oakland Firefighters: Contractor Trapped in 10-Foot Sewer Line

Oakland and Alameda County fire crews late Tuesday were still trying to rescue a man trapped in a 10-foot sewer line.

A Star Rooter & Plumbing contractor was working on a sewer line in front of a residence on the 2300 block of 21st Avenue when the trench collapsed on him. Authorities said the incident was reported around 12:30 p.m. 

Rescue crews are trying to shore up the trench so they can safely extricate the man, officials said.

Fire officials said the man was originally found nearly 10 feet down and was waist-deep in mud. Just before 5 p.m., one leg was reportedly freed and the second was cleared down to his ankle. 

They cautioned, however, that it would be awhile before rescue equipment was removed from the hole and he was back above ground.

"The problem is there is sand soil in there and also clay,"  said Lisa Baker with the Oakland Fire Department.

Barker said the man's feet was stuck in the clay late Tuesday.

Crews also called to the scene a vacuum truck from the city's sewer division to help remove the sand from the trench.

There were at least 30 firefighters on scene late Tuesday and working to rescue the man, who appeared to be OK and was talking with firefighters.

The man has been given some pain medication and will be transported to Highland Hospital when freed, officials said.

Further details were not immediately available.

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