Worker dies after trench collapse while working underground

Tony Rice was described as a dedicated worker who served the City of Eutaw for many years. (Source: WBRC)
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 1:36 PM CDT
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EUTAW, Ala. (WBRC/Gray News) – A man died after a trench collapse while working underground in an Alabama subdivision.

Authorities said Tony Rice, a Eutaw city worker, was part of a crew doing sewer work when the trench collapsed around him and two others around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Two other city employees were able to escape, but Rice couldn’t get out.

Employees of the Tuscaloosa Water and Sewer Department were on the scene to help pump water out when the trench began filling with water and sewage.

Rice’s body was finally recovered around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday.

“The City of Eutaw is saddened at the loss of a hard worker and great friend. Tony Rice was a dedicated worker who has served the City of Eutaw for many years,” a spokesperson with the City of Eutaw said in a statement.

“We will forever miss Tony’s smiling face and energy. We would ask for your thoughts and prayers during this time as we are all grieving.”

Officials with the city said several agencies will be involved in the investigation of what led to Rice’s death.

“Over the next several days there will be more questions than answers as we move through all of the official processes and also deal with heavy hearts and sadness,” Eutaw spokesman Corey Martin said.

Eutaw Mayor Latasha Johnson said her heart is heavy and offered prayers to the Rice family