City employee escapes serious injury in cave-in
Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Nov. 10, 2005 -- A city worker narrowly escaped serious injury -- and possibly death -- when the walls of a ditch he was working in caved in Wednesday afternoon, according to Sulphur Springs City Manager Marc Maxwell.

The employee, B.J. Buckland, was attempting to repair a leak on the pipeline near the Cooper Lake pumping station when the accident occurred. Buckland had dug down to repair a 30-inch diameter pipe buried seven feet in the ground when the walls of the ditch caved in on him.

A number of city workers were at the site and were quick to make the rescue.

"He wasn't completely buried, but enough that he could not get himself out," the city manger said. "They got him out right away, put him in a truck and took him to the hospital."

The city manager said Buckland was very sore but had no broken bones or internal injuries as a result of the cave-in.

�"We feel very fortunate that this was� not more serious for him than it was," Maxwell said.

Accidents involving city employees are always a serious matter, but those with the potential for death or severe injuries evoke even more concern.

"A lot of the work we do, if you think about it, there is a broad spectrum of employees -- from police to fire to street workers or working in the trenches -- and it can be dangerous" he said. "This serves as a huge wake-up call."

The city manger was meeting with department heads Thursday morning to try and learn what caused the accident and how to prevent them in the future.

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