LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities say a worker who became trapped in a trench in the Pacific Palisades area Thursday afternoon died before he could be rescued.

As many as 50 Los Angeles Fire Department firefighters responded at 1:34 p.m. to the location along the 200 block of Temescal Canyon Road after two workers were reported trapped, according to LAFD spokesman Erik Scott.

The trench was described as 20 feet long and U-shaped.

One unidentified adult male, who had been buried up to his knees, was rescued around 3:00 p.m., Scott said. Gilbert Vargas, 50, who was found buried up to his chest, died in the accident.

Both men were employed by a private company contracted by the city.

A coroner will likely conduct an autopsy over the weekend to determine Vargas’s exact time and cause of death.

Counseling services were available to the victim’s family and co-workers through the mayor’s Crisis Response Team.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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