Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Man Rescued After Being Trapped in Gravel Pit

Gravel Pit Accident

SHESHEQUIN TOWNSHIP (WENY)---It was a close-call this morning at the Eastern Industries Northern Division Sheshequin Sand and Gravel Plant when an employee got trapped in a gravel pit.

It happened just after 6:30 this morning, to a 52-year-old employee who company officials refuse to identify... trapped in a trench, in gravel up to his chin... barely able to breathe. Officials say the man was trying to free a stuck gravel bin clogged when the ground gave loose and sucked him down in.

Ulster-Sheshequin Fire Chief, Steve Bixby says, "He was approximately five feet underground, his feet were supported by the hopper conveyer system underneath. That was one of the good things that saved him."

Rescue workers lowered oxygen and air into the hole. It took 50 - 60 people to rescue the employee from the hole and two hours later he was rescued but fire officials tell us, it was a close call.

Dixpy said, "It was a tedious operation, any wrong move could have caused the gravel to collapse."

A helicopter was called to the scene, but the man went to the hospital in an ambulance. We're told he suffered minor injuries.

Officials say this is the first incident of its kind at the Eastern Industries plant.

We reached out to Donald Benjamin, the Superintendent of the facility but he has not returned our calls. The facility is closed for the rest of the day.