Construction Worker Killed in Cesspool

LAIE (KHNL) -- A construction worker is killed when he falls into a cesspool.  It happened Wednesday morning during work to decommission several cesspools in the Laie area.

The city is in the process of hooking up several homes to it's new sewer lines in the area. During the ongoing construction, a worker at one off those homes on Naupaka Street, was standing on a concrete "cap" covering one of the large holes, when the earth around the cesspool caved in.

Family and friends grieve as they learn a rescue mission, becomes a recovery effort.

Firefighters responding to the call say the cesspool was dry, because it was no longer being used.

They also say it's about 30 feet deep.

To make matters worse, the large concrete cap that covered the hole, fell on top of the man.

"It's about a 4-inch thick cap that's about the diameter of the hole which is about 12 feet so it's a lot of concrete that's on top of the workers that's at the bottom," said Captain Terry Seelig of the Honolulu Fire Department.

Co-workers identified the man as Pa'u'u Po'o'i of La'ie.

They also say he was a father of three.

"He's a good sized man. Strong, husky and very nice," said neighbor Joesphine Bird.  "In fact all of the workers from that company are very, very nice."

She says the same work crew just completed hooking up her home to the new city sewer line last week.

"I didn't see anything except there was a hedge there and a fence and they had to remove everything to get to the cesspool," said Bird.

The city's public works department brought in heavy equipment needed to remove the tons of concrete, to get to the victim.

But to ensure there would be no additional collapses, or injuries, fire officials excercised extreeme caution.

"There is loose rock and rubble at the surface we are having to remove before we proceed with the rigging operation," said Seelig.

Family and friends of the victim remain at the scene as firefighters work to free his body.