Worker dies after being partially buried by dirt in Waialae Iki - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Worker dies after being partially buried by dirt

As many as three workers were partially buried in dirt and rock at Waialae Iki construction site As many as three workers were partially buried in dirt and rock at Waialae Iki construction site
Capt. Terry Seelig Capt. Terry Seelig
Lt. Clinton Sukekane Lt. Clinton Sukekane

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

WAIALAE IKI RIDGE (HawaiiNewsNow) - A construction accident on Waialae Iki Ridge may have triggered a man's death Tuesday morning.

The victim, identified by coworkers as Gilbert Macalma, was part of a team digging a trench at the site of a new home on Pi'imauna Place. They planned to pour concrete in the trench to support a new cinder block wall. While they were working, part of the trench collapsed.

"There were three workers in the hole, in the trench. Two of the workers were able to get out and then dig the third worker out. At that time it looks like he shortly later suffered some kind of medical problem," said Honolulu police Lt. Clinton Sukekane who responded to the scene.

The accident was reported at about 8:30 a.m. By 10:30 a.m. Macalma had been taken to the Queen's Medical Center and pronounced dead.

His coworkers say he was only buried up to his thighs and they can't understand why he suddenly had trouble breathing - then died. Some say he may have been hit by a falling rock. Others suspect he suffered a heart attack.

Police have classified the death as an industrial accident. A representative from the Honolulu Medical Examiner's office went to the scene to get a better understanding of what happened. The ME will perform an autopsy hoping to determine the cause of death.

An investigator with the state Occupational Health and Safety Administration was also expected to investigate.

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