On Friday evening, at approximately 6:52, the Riley County Police Department received an emergency call for service requesting a rescue. One 30-year-old male victim was entrapped in dirt and mud near the intersection of Scenic Drive and Fossilridge in Manhattan following a trench collapse. The victim was a City of Manhattan employee who had been repairing a water main when the trench collapsed upon him.
Manhattan Fire Department responded to the scene with three fire engines, one rescue truck, one battalion truck and 12 personnel. Riley County Fire also responded to the scene to provide assistance in the rescue with one pumper and six personnel. Upon arrival, the first unit found that the victim was buried up to his waist in dirt and mud. Fire crews were able to free the victim in approximately 20 minutes and transferred care to Riley County EMS. William Albert Wiske (30) of Wamego was transported to Mercy Regional Health Center where he was pronounced dead after succumbing to his injuries.
“We are deeply saddened about the loss of William Wiske, an employee of our Water Services Division”, said City Manager Ron Fehr. “Our thoughts and prayers are extended to William’s family during this very difficult time.”
Fire crews for both agencies remained on scene after the incident to work with the City of Manhattan Public Works Department to establish a temporary water line which services the area where the workers were making repairs. As of 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Scenic Drive was once again open to traffic.
No further information has been released.