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Crews recover body of construction worker killed in ground collapse

RUSKIN — Rescue workers late Thursday night retrieved the body of a construction worker who died after becoming trapped when the ground collapsed at a Ruskin water treatment plant.

A daylong effort to recover the body of 54-year-old John Rose ended just before 11 p.m. Thursday when crews finally pulled him from the ground. Rose worked for PCL Construction, a company which is working on an $80 million expansion of the South County Water Treatment Plant, at 520 Teco Road near Interstate 75.

Early Thursday afternoon, Rose and two other construction workers were walking on the surface above a new underground pipe outside the plant when the unsettled ground gave way. Rose was sucked into the earth and the soil closed around him.

Hillsborough County firefighters tried to rescue Rose, at one point using a powerful microphone to listen for sounds from underground. Later, the operation became a recovery effort as crews used vacuum trucks to suck up soil and water from the hole.

By 9:30 p.m., the crews could see part of Rose's body. By 11 p.m., he had been removed from the hole.

It remained unclear Friday what caused the ground to give way.

Crews recover body of construction worker killed in ground collapse 01/03/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 3, 2014 2:45pm]
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