Updated: Friday, 05 Jul 2013, 7:36 AM EDT

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) –  Northern Indiana authorities have rescued a construction worker who fell into a trench and became buried in dirt up to his chest.

South Bend Fire Chief Steve Cox says Wednesday evening’s rescue was a “delicate, deliberate” task because the man had become mired in the trench at a sewer construction site.

He tells the South Bend Tribune that after the man fell into the hole and became trapped, emergency crews had to shore up the area around the trapped worker.

Cox declined to identify the worker, but he said the man was alert and conscious throughout his ordeal. Cox says the man was taken to a local hospital for observation.