Chief Mauro Campos of the Fayetteville Fire Department says Brannon Rhine of Springdale was completely covered in soil after a trench collapsed at the Vue Apartment construction site.
Fayetteville police say crews were working with an excavator Sunday when the machine struck a sewer line.
Sgt. Craig Stout says Rhine jumped into the hole to clear debris, and the walls collapsed
Stout says a co-worker tried to uncover Rhine's head, and called 911, but when firefighters checked on the man, it was too late.
"They determined that the person was deceased at that time," Campos says.
A compliance officer from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration visited the site Monday to investigate the accident,
Jay Stewart, President of Parkcrest Builders says safety is the company's first priority.
"Our deepest sympathies and our thoughts are with the family, friends and co-workers of the deceased," Stewart says in a statement released Monday. "This is a tragic accident that has impacted us all... We have secured the site of the accident. We are working closely with the officials who are investigating the incident and are waiting on their report."
OSHA cannot comment until the report is complete, and area director Carlos Reynolds says that could take up to six months.