BREVARD COUNTY, Florida (WESH) -- A man up to his neck in mud, sand and filth was pulled to safety on Thursday after the trench he was working in collapsed in Brevard County.

It took almost three hours for crews to rescue the 59-year-old construction worker at an excavation site at 4885 U.S. Route 1 in Sharpes just outside of Cocoa.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office says the call came in just after 12 p.m., and by the time crews made it to the scene, the man was buried neck-deep with water filling the hole.

About 29 units were at the scene from Brevard County Sheriff's Office, including the fire rescue and the dive team.

David Walker from Brevard County Government said a construction crew was performing a test hole at the excavation site. Two workers were standing on each side of the trench before one of the sides collapsed, causing the man to fall inside.

"Then, the other side of the hole collapsed and that's when it began filling up with water," Walker said.

As many as 70 people took turns using cranes to get water out of the hole before pulling the man out safely.

"He was able to communicate with firefighters while all of that was still happening. I can tell you when they pulled him out of the hole though there was some excruciating pain," Walker said. "The problem is every time they would pull the water and the dirt from the hole, it would immediately fill back in, so they had to use some crafty efforts to be able to dig him out.”

The man was placed in a truck before he was flown to the hospital's trauma center.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office is looking into what led to the collapse.

Walker said the man is a worker from Jr. Davis Construction Company.

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