Officials ID worker killed in Mint Hill trench collapse

Worker dies after trench collapse
Published: Jun. 11, 2014 at 11:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 11, 2014 at 12:51 AM EDT
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MINT HILL, NC (WBTV) - A man was killed in Mint Hill Tuesday after a trench he was working in collapsed.

The incident happened Tuesday evening on Blackbird Hill Lane, which is off of Crown Hill Drive.

Officials told WBTV that 46-year-old James Kirk Mitcham, of Wingate, was part of a work crew installing a new water pipe system.

He was lowered into the trench on a bucket in a backhoe before the walls around him collapsed, killing him.

Mitcham worked for One Grade, Incorporated out of Indian Trail.

Wednesday, a team of OSHA investigators was back at the scene. They told WBTV that they look for very specific clues when it comes to a deadly trench collapse because the work is so dangerous.

The investigators said they look at soil type and density, and whether there was a protection system in place to keep walls from collapsing.

They said they also examine the company's training records to make sure workers were properly trained.

WBTV checked OSHA's website to see if One Grade, Inc, had any history of violations, and did not find any.

Officials say the investigation into the incident could take three to six months to complete.

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