Rockslide buries worker
An Incline construction worker remains in critical condition after he was buried by rocks and debris for almost an hour on Thursday when heavy rains triggered a rockslide in Tyrolian Village.
The man’s name and the company he worked for had not been released. The man’s condition was critical on Saturday, according to people who know him.
Peter Dubiskas, a fellow construction worker who watched the event unfold, said the man was working on a foundation of a new home at 1349 Valais Way when the near-vertical slope behind him broke loose and buried him.
“The rocks came down so fast he had no where to go,” said Dubiskas, who rushed to the man’s aid with fellow workers and managed to uncover the man’s upper body before emergency crews arrived.
North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District crews initially responded with one engine and an ambulance but quickly called in extra support once they arrived on scene, said NLTFPD Battalion Chief Dennis Perry, who was the first emergency responder to reach the construction site at 1349 Valais Way.
“It was an extremely dangerous situation,” Perry said. “He was buried up to his waist when I arrived and he was doing everything he could to get out. Several construction workers were digging to set him free, but his legs were trapped under a large block of granite and he was pinned against the rebar that was sticking out of the foundation.”
Perry said when he realized the severity of the situation he requested additional firefighters and EMTs, the Slide Mountain hand crew and ordered Incline Village General Improvement District crews to stand by.
Emergency crews removed the man from the slide at about 3 p.m. after 45 minutes of using air chisels and hand tools to break up and remove the large blocks of granite that pinned the man’s legs. He was flown by helicopter to Washoe Medical Center in Reno.
“It was a really technical rescue,” Perry said. “I was extremely concerned about the rest of the slope coming down on top of rescue crews and we had to dig slowly so we didn’t cause more injury to the victim or disturb the slope above.”
Nevada Operational Safety and Health Administration is currently investigating the incident.
Lake Country Development, the licensed general contractor with the building permit for the site of the incident, refused to comment.
Washoe County Building Department officials said a stop work order has been issued on the construction site.
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