January 16, 2017

Men working underground in Key Largo dead for unknown reasons

Deputies and firefighters are on the scene of an fatal incident underground in a Key Largo neighborhood.

Three contract employees working underground on  Long Key Road in the vicinity of the 106 mile marker in Key Largo collapsed for unknown reasons this morning. Key Largo firefighters and deputies arrived after a 911 call to Sheriff’s dispatchers at 8:28 a.m.; a firefighter who went underground to help the trapped workers also collapsed and had to be rescued.

The firefighter and two of the three workers were pulled from the hole; the two workers were confirmed dead at the scene. The firefighter was rushed to Mariner’s Hospital and airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. The third man who was working underground has still not been recovered and is presumed dead. Two deputies who were on scene were also affected and were taken to Mariner’s Hospital for evaluation.

Five homes in the area were evacuated. A specially trained HAZMAT team from Miami-Dade County was called to the scene to assist.

The workers were employees of Douglas N. Higgins, under contract with Monroe County to perform road repairs on the street.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit will be investigating.

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