St. Paul construction site collapse: 2 bodies recovered

The bodies of two workers killed in a trench collapse at a Highland Park construction site Friday have been recovered. 

Dozens of first responders arrived at the 700 block of Mount Curve Boulevard in St. Paul around 3 p.m. What started as a rescue attempt for the workers turned into a recovery effort that lasted around 12 hours.

"Trenches are very dangerous. Anytime soil has moved it’s more prone to shift or move again. Unfortunately, victims of trench collapses usually die within minutes due to crushing injuries or asphyxia," said St. Paul deputy fire chief Roy Mokosso.

Rescue workers recovered the first body Friday night and the other around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. The victims' names have not been released at this time.

St. Paul assistant fire chief Matt Simpson told FOX 9 it appeared the two people were working on a drain at the construction site when the incident occurred. A person at the site initially tried to get into the trench and help but realized he couldn’t and called 911.

St. Paul Fire Capt. Mike Aspnes told FOX 9 one side of the trench was 6.5 feet deep and the other side was 7 feet deep. The two workers were found on the deeper end of the trench, and after the recovery, it was about 8.5 feet deep. The site will be filled in with dirt. 

City documents show construction on an apartment building on Mount Curve Boulevard has been ongoing. It's unclear if construction will be stopped because of this incident. 

The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration told FOX 9 they are investigating the collapse.