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Monday, April 15
The Indiana Daily Student

Man dies when 8-foot hole caves in on him

EVANSVILLE -- A hole collapsed around a man and killed him while he was trying to help his brother fix a broken sewer line in his backyard.\nJerrod Elmendorf, 29, of Mount Vernon was buried standing up in the dirt at his brother's home in Evansville on Saturday and apparently died of asphyxiation or suffocation, authorities said.\nElmendorf had been helping his brother dig the hole with a backhoe Saturday morning, and family members noticed he was missing after noon, said Evansville police spokesman Brian Talsma. When they couldn't find him, they called 911, and fire department rescuers found him in the hole at about 3 p.m.\nTalsma said the hole was about 20 feet by 8 feet and up to 14 feet deep. Police were not sure why the hole collapsed but said recent rain and the large pile of dirt beside the hole may have contributed to the accident.\n"Something caused it to collapse fairly substantially, and he didn't have a chance to even get out or get around the amount of dirt that fell in," Talsma said.\nRescuers had to widen and terrace the hole before they could remove the man's body, which took about five hours.

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