Crews recover body of trapped worker days after drill rig topples
PHOENIX — The body of a worker who was trapped after an enormous drill rig fell near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was recovered Thursday, according to the Phoenix Fire Department.
The adult male was pronounced dead at the scene. Phoenix Police identified him Friday morning as 52-year-old Melvin Self.
Authorities say the body was found Thursday afternoon after more than 50 tons of dirt was removed from a hole more than 30 feet deep.
The rig fell over about 9:30 a.m. Monday during construction for the Sky Train guideway system.
Authorities said the trench where the rig toppled was unstable and that had complicated the situation.
Crews brought in lighting equipment by evening but were stymied in their hourslong attempts at rescue.
Authorities underwent rescue efforts near 29th Street and Buckeye Road to recover the unidentified man’s body for three days, suspending the search Monday night for safety reasons.
They resumed Tuesday once two larger cranes were brought in, Capt. Larry Subervi, a spokesman with the Phoenix Fire Department, said in an email.
Crews were able to safely remove the drill rig from the collapsed hole using two large cranes, he added.
But the removal process of the drill rig lasted for a few more hours as crews worked to move and stabilize it in a safe location.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.