HONOLULU (KHON2) — A worker died while working on the Sand Island sewer improvement project, according to the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR).

Honolulu EMS said the man was 23-years-old and was working at a construction site when he was covered in dirt within the trench behind a baseball field at Sand Island Parkway.

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A detective on the scene confirmed the contractor was actively working at the scene and a man was inside the trench when it collapsed. The contractor had been working on the Sand Island Sewer Improvement project.

An officer from the DLNR Division of Conservation and Resources Enforcement responded, but the investigation is being handled by the Honolulu Police Department. An investigator from Hawaii Occupational Safety and Health Division of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations was also on scene.

The Honolulu Fire Department (HFD) said a 911 call came in just before 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, for a man who was trapped in a collapsed trench near the Sand Island baseball fields.

When HFD arrived, they said the man had been removed from the trench and a bystander had started CPR. HFD took over until EMS arrived at approximately 10:15 a.m.

Witnesses at the scene told officials all they could see was the man’s hand, and they were able to get him out of the trench within five minutes. EMS rushed him to the hospital in critical condition, and the DLNR confirmed his death was around 12:30 p.m.

The Sand Island sewer improvement project began in April 2021, and according to a media release sent out by DLNR, it was supposed to take seven months to complete.

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Additionally, the DLNR added at the time the Hawaii Department of Health had issued several sewer spill violations in the area over the last three years. The sewer improvements were targeted at deteriorating infrastructure. The project included a new pump station, comfort station, sewer lines and connecting sewer lines.