New Mexico Says Trench Lacked Safety Measures

May 23, 2011

New Mexico investigators say proper safety measures were not in place when a trench wall collapsed in Las Vegas, burying and killing two city workers.

The state Occupational Safety and Health Bureau says the workers were putting in water and sewer lines May 18, when the trench walls fell in.

A spokeswoman for the state Environment Department says an investigator confirmed there was no shoring in the trench to prevent it from collapsing.

A representative of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees tells the Albuquerque Journal the situation was completely avoidable and there was no reason not to install wall shoring equipment.

Las Vegas City Attorney David Romero says it was premature to “speculate” about any safety issues.

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