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Worker rescued after being buried alive in trench collapse at Nebraska construction site

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Worker rescued after being buried alive in a trench collapse at Nebraska construction site

OMAHA, Neb. (CNN) - Rescue crews in Nebraska had to scramble Saturday to save a construction worker who was buried alive in a trench collapse.

After hours of effort, rescue crews were able to dig him out. But it was a call Irvington Fire Chief Nolan Paulsen has never seen before.

"It was kind of a unique situation. Kind of different," said Chief Paulsen.

The worker was buried under thousands of pounds of dirt at a construction in North Omaha.

"What they were actually doing, was they were joining two of these round culvert pipes together with a band, and that's where he became not only encased in the dirt, but also caught in between those two pipes," said Paulsen.

The chief said they teamed up with Omaha's Trench Rescue Tactical Team to stabilize the trench, and start digging the man out.

 "You want to make sure you stabilize, not only your path in there, but the banks of the trench and stuff like that, just to keep anybody from needing any further rescue," said Paulsen.

After two hours of careful digging, the man was pulled out alive.

 "Sometimes it doesn't have a positive outcome, but today it was definitely, through everybody's good, hard work, had a good positive outcome," said Paulsen.

The chief stated the worker should survive, despite being taken to the hospital in critical condition.

"He hopefully should survive, but serious injuries, get him into the hospital because of his situation, you don't know if he has crushing injuries from the dirt, obviously had injuries from the pipe, we solved those injuries, but we don't know what internal injuries he had," said Paulsen.

The cause of the trench collapse is still under investigation.

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