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UPDATE: Victims in fatal trench collapse Wednesday identified as two area men

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Five things you should know to stay safe in a trench

The two men who died in a trench collapse in New Plymouth early Wednesday when attempting to install pipes have been identified, according to the Payette County Sheriff’s Office.

The workmen were Javier Ortega Jr., 59, of New Plymouth, and Arcenio Carrillo, 51, of Vale, Oregon, according to authorities.

The call came in at 8:36 a.m., said Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Creech in an email to the Statesman. Initial reports said that two men were trapped in the collapse.

The accident occurred on Southwest First Avenue at Akron Road, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Payette County dispatchers sent three different fire departments, paramedics, law enforcement, two separate highway departments and a private construction company to the scene to extricate the men.

Emergency responders were unable to resuscitate the men, according to a news release.

The men were working for a private company and installing irrigation pipes when the collapse occurred. Authorities have not named the company. Creech said they have not yet been able to identify the company the men were working for, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

There is an active flood warning in Payette County, but authorities say the collapse is likely unrelated to that.

Dave Kearns, area director for the OSHA, said Wednesday morning that he was unaware of the accident until the Statesman notified him. He said OSHA would check to see whether it had jurisdiction to review the incident.

Three years ago, a trench collapse in Boise triggered an OSHA investigation after two men died and a third was injured. In that collapse, near the corner of Hill Road and Gary Lane, all of the men were employed by Hard Rock Construction, which was found to be negligent and was fined by OSHA.

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Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.

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