Worker trapped in landfill trench is freed He was installing gas retrieval system


A Severn man installing a methane gas retrieval system at the Millersville landfill was trapped in a trench for nearly two hours yesterday before county firefighters were able to free him.

Jerome Legrand, 38, of the 1700 block of Carriage Court in Severn was in serious but stable condition yesterday afternoon at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was taken after rescue workers freed him from the 8-foot deep trench, where he was up to his knees in mud and dirt.

Mr. Legrand was working for Handex of Maryland, an Odenton-based company that was hired to install a methane gas retrieval system in a portion of the landfill, said Lt. Robert Kornmann, a county Fire Department spokesman.

The system channels methane gas produced by decomposing materials to a central area where it can be burned.

Mr. Legrand and another employee were working in the ditch shortly after 10 a.m. when the dirt caved in around Mr. Legrand's legs, the spokesman said.

Thirty-five firefighters, mostly members of the county trench rescue unit, helped with the rescue. They put two wooden panels about 12 feet long and 4 feet wide along the sides of the trench and held them apart with hydraulic jacks. Then they manually dug Mr. Legrand out of the trench.

Mr. Legrand was freed just before noon and was conscious and stable during the rescue, Lieutenant Kornmann said.

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