Worker trapped in NJ trench freed

SOUTHAMPTON, N.J. - August 27, 2009 Chopper 6 HD was over the scene at 27 Chelsea Place in Southampton, Burlington County.

State police spokesman Sergeant Steve Jones says the incident began shortly before 1:00 p.m. when 24-year old Matthew Mauriello an employee for American Lawn Irrigation Incorporated, was working on a water main in a trench estimated to be 5-to-6 feet deep.

Somehow, Mauriello got his legs caught in a hole up to his thighs, as mud and sand filled the void around his legs rendering him stuck for hours.

Rescue crews from Camden, Burlington, and Mercer Counties worked tirelessly to remove Mauriello, all to no avail.

Then around 5:00 p.m., members of the New Jersey State Police Task Force 1 Search and Rescue Team responded and removed Mauriello within 45 minutes.

The task force consists of both volunteers and employees, but all are construction and demolition experts.

Mauriello is in stable conditon at Cooper Hospital.

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