Sewer worker in good condition after trench rescue

Omaha firefighters carry a 23-year-old sewer worker on a stretcher after rescuing the man from a trench in a west Omaha neighborhood.

UPDATE: Drew Johnson's condition was upgraded Wednesday morning. He is reported to be in good condition.

Stuck in the cold and at the bottom of a collapsed trench for more than six hours - that's the scary situation a 23-year-old sewer worker in Omaha can now say he survived.

On Tuesday night, Omaha firefighters said that the man was in a hospital, Drew Johnson, was recovering.

He was working on a sewer that was 10-12 feet below ground in a west Omaha neighborhood the same morning,

Jackie McLellan says she was at her kitchen window when she saw the man working – something she thought was a routine thing.

30 firefighters, several policeman, and Omaha utility workers were right outside her home about an hour later, all trying to save the man who was stuck at the bottom of that collapsed trench.

Crews spent hours removing dirt and other things to get the man out.

His family stood by watching and waiting for him to be rescued.

McLellan said, “I'd be panicked like they were and be very worried."

That’s why she decided to lend a helping hand.

She said, '"I saw them standing there and they looked very cold, and so I said "If you'd like to come in and sit down. Can I bring you water or anything?"'

Firefighters say it took so long to get the man out because they wanted to avoid another collapse, something McLellan says she's glad didn't happen.

"Relief and pleasure to know that the next step of the saga is started and hopefully it will be a very successful recovery, and quick recovery for him," McLellan said.

Officials say the man is currently in the hospital in critical condition.

When he was pulled from the trench he was awake and talking, but was complaining about pain in his left leg.

There is no word yet on what his injuries might be.

Fire officials say this is one of the longest rescues that's happened in a while and that collapses like this are unusual.

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