State and local officials have temporarily stopped construction at the site of a trench accident that killed one man and critically injured another Thursday afternoon in Pacific Palisades.
Officials are evaluating how to safely proceed at the site on Temescal Canyon Road near Pacific Coast Highway, according to City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.
The concrete foundation for the underground 1.25-million gallon detention tank from Proposition O water treatment facility project was poured last fall, and work was progressing at the site until Thursday's tragic incident.
It's part of the two-year, $8 million stormwater best management practices project from the Proposition O Clean Water Bond to remove bacteria and other pollutants from urban runoff reaching Will Rogers State Beach and nearby coastal waters, according to the Los Angeles Department of Public Works. The project proposes to divert stormwater from an existing storm drain to the Temescal Canyon Park. The stormwater will be treated then diverted through several channels for further treatment at the Hyperion Treatment Plant. More information on the project can be found here.
According to the city’s Bureau of Sanitation, a trench collapsed and trapped two contract workers at the project site, and bureau spokesperson says the project is currently under evaluation.
"We are discussing the best way to move forward," said Wing Tam, spokesperson for the Bureau of Sanitation. "Out of caution, we’re figuring out how to proceed while making sure we don’t run into this again."
Rosendahl issued a statement upon hearing news of the accident.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the two contract workers involved in the trench accident along Temescal Canyon Road," Rosendahl said. "As one family deals with the loss and the other provides much needed love and support during recovery, please know the city of Los Angeles appreciates the service of these men and their efforts to improve our quality of life."
A report from state investigators is expected in the next several months.