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Worker Dies in Kailua Retaining Wall Collapse

<i>KITV</i><br/>One person is dead and two others are injured after being crushed by a falling rock wall outside of a home in Kailua.
One person is dead and two others are injured after being crushed by a falling rock wall outside of a home in Kailua.

By Jeremy Lee

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    KAILUA, Hawaii (KITV) — A fifteen foot retaining wall on Windward Oahu collapsed during construction work, entrapping four.

KITV4 spoke to a construction crew member on the scene, working for a local family owned contracting business. One worker confirmed all four who were caught beneath the rubble were working on the project.

The young man who did not survive has been reported to be a Kailua local who attends university on the mainland.

A neighbor said the wall, which sat on a descending slope between Akiikii Place and an adjacent street, had been damaged in recent storms.

Fire crews arrived on scene within a 7 minute response time, after the 11:52AM call to 911 dispatchers. One worker had escaped the rubble by the time emergency response crews arrived on scene. Within 20 minutes, two additional workers were freed.

The fourth worker was stuck below, as emergency responders labored another hour on the scene.

Upon arrival, emergency responders ordered workers using a mini excavator to stop, so as to stabilize the rubble. Then HFD manually removed the stones one by one.

“It was very difficult to get to with any mechanical equipment. Therefore, we had to move the debris by hand,” Kevin Mokulehua of the Honolulu Fire Department said.

It was a somber scene on Akiikii Street as neighbors helped an injured worker down the hill. HFD offered condolences to the family of the deceased, the work crew, and those living at the home.

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