Man killed in trench collapse identified; Cal-OSHA investigating


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California safety officials Friday were investigating the cause of a trench collapse in Pacific Palisades a day earlier that killed one man and injured another, a spokesman said.

Also Friday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office identified the dead man as Gilbert Vargas, 50. Emergency workers recovered his body Thursday night after about nine hours of digging in the 200 block of North Temescal Canyon Road, just north of Pacific Coast Highway.


Vargas and the unidentified injured man, who was airlifted Thursday to a hospital in stable condition, had been excavating with back hoes on a city storm water project, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

Peter Melton, a spokesman for Cal-OSHA, said the agency has ordered work stopped at the site until any hazards have been resolved.

The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health has six months to complete its investigation, but Melton said Los Angeles Engineering Inc., the men’s employer, ‘is going to want to get this taken care of as soon as possible to get back to work, if they can get back to work.’


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