A Town of Southern Pines utility worker was extracted safely by authorities after water around a broken sewer pipe caused him to sink into the ground at the bottom of a nearly 8-feet deep trench on Broadmeade Drive Thursday.

The worker was evaluated by Emergency Medical personnel at the scene and cleared, but was taken to FirstHealth Moore Regional as a precaution, Southern Pines Fire Department Deputy Chief Ted Horvath said.

The worker was working to replace the broken sewer line when the water caused the trench the to partially collapse just before 3 p.m. Thursday. The mixture of the water in the ground around the pipe and the dirt made the mud like a quicksand consistency, Horvath said, leading to the worker sinking up to his thigh in the mud.

Photos by Pilot staff photographer Ted Fitzgerald

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