SAUGANASH — A city water department worker died Monday afternoon after an underground trench collapsed around him during a routine project, officials said.
Around 1:15 p.m., the man was working underground near the intersection of Peterson Avenue and Sauganash Avenue when "the hole collapsed on him," according to Cmdr. Curtis Hudson, a Chicago Fire Department spokesman.
He was brought to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where he was pronounced dead, Hudson said.
The man, identified as 41-year-old Konrad Tucharski, had been working on a "planned construction project" to replace a sewer pipe, according to Gary Litherland, a spokesman for the water department.
"We send our prayers and sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased employee," Litherland said.
The cause of the mishap remains under investigation, he added.
Crews had been working on the project in the 6000 block of North Sauganash Avenue for at least two weeks, according to John Rus, who lives on the block.
"They were out here day and night, in the freezing cold and everything," Rus said. "I even brought them donuts one morning. This is unbelievable."