Four employees of a mechanical contractor were laying a lateral sewer line at a building site. The foreman, a plumber by trade, and a laborer were laying an eight-inch, 20-foot long plastic sewer pipe in the bottom of a trench 36 inches wide, nine feet deep, and approximately 50 feet long. The trench was neither sloped nor shored, and there was water entering it along a shale seam near the bottom. The west side of the trench caved in near the bottom, burying one employee to his chest and completely covering the other. Rescue operations took two and five hours - too late to save the men.