On May 15 a drilled shaft rig operated by Mid America Drilling Corp was nearly swallowed by the 9-ft diameter hole it was drilling for a cell tower foundation near Harlan, Iowa. Fortunately nobody was injured and the truck did not suffer any significant damage.
In Arizona, the standard of practice is to use a temporary surface casing to prevent dangerous failures like that. I once saw pictures of a drilling contractor superindendent almost get sucked into a collapsing shaft, even with the temporary casing. Pretty scary stuff. Source: Harlan Tribune. (Photo by Samantha Bruck)
An excavator mounted drill rig drilling shafts as part of a project to pass utilities under I-35 near 51st Street toppled over while trying to move in soft, rain soaked soil. The Austin Fire Department was able to extract the operator from the cab and he was taken to a local hospital with minor injuries, a minor miracle. I’m not sure what the purpose of the drilled shafts were for. Since the project was for some kind of utility pipe jacking under the freeway, I’m speculating it was drilling holes for temporary shoring for the jacking pit or something along those lines. I’m sure OSHA will be looking into the incident. Video news story after the break. (Photo from Austin KXAN.com).