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A utility subcontractor was killed when a trench wall collapsed at a water tower site within two miles of the University of Texas at Arlington this morning.

The collapse occurred when Rob Harrell, 34, of Grand Prairie, was working in a 10-foot trench trying to connect power to a new water tower, said Alan Kassen, of the Arlington Fire Department.

The contractor on the project is Fort Worth-based Landmark Structures, which builds water towers.

There was no sign of trench shoring — the process of bracing the walls of a trench in order to prevent collapse — when emergency workers arrived at the scene, according to officials.

Fire, Police and officials fromt he Water Utilities Department are working closely with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigators. The investigation is expected to take up to six months.

Our Des Moines Partner, has a helpful article titled Construction Safety – Trench Collapse for more information on these types of accidents.

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