A worker died Wednesday after a trench about 17 feet deep collapsed at a Lake Forest construction site, burying his body underneath dirt, authorities said.
Construction crews handling the grading for a tract home project were using an excavator to dig when a side of the trench gave way, said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.
It's unclear if the worker, who was not identified, fell inside or was acting as a spotter in the trench, Kurtz said. Two or three dozen people were on-site working for a company called Empire Grading.
Fire officials were called to the development, near Viejo Ridge Drive and Glenn Ranch Road, about 3 p.m. They used powerful vacuum trucks and buckets to carefully remove the dirt around the body during the recovery, Kurtz said.
The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health and the Orange County Sheriff's Department were investigating the circumstances of the accident, he said.