Victims in deadly trench collapse in Hays identified

HAYS (KSNW) – Officials in Hays continue to investigate a deadly trench collapse. It happened Tuesday in front of the Ellis County Administrative Building on Main Street between 7th and 8th Streets around 1:30 p.m.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene and one worker was rescued from the trench.  Two other victims were trapped in the trench and rescue efforts were unsuccessful.

The victims have been identified as 67-year-old James “Jake” Jacobs and 45-year-old Aaron Pfannenstiel.  The three worked for J Corp.

The Hays Fire Department and Ellis County Rural Fire, Ellis and Victoria Fire Departments, as well, as part of the Ellis County Rescue Team conducted the recovery operation.

The Red Cross, Ellis County Emergency Management, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Ellis County EMS also assisted.

Downtown traffic was diverted for several hours as a safety precaution and to allow responders to work the scene.  Officials ask that the public stays out of the area.

According to a release from the City of Hays, sewer line repairs were taking place on Main Street and that the road was closed.

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