Man Trapped in Trench May Lose Limbs

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL (AP) – A man who spent hours outside in a trench with his foot caught in an abandoned septic tank was hospitalized in serious condition and may lose an arm to frostbite.

Flathead County officials say a 23-year-old man was found, unresponsive, at about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Investigators don’t know how long he had been trapped.

The man fell into a ditch at the White Birch Motel and RV Park. Motel owner Larry Cummings said the man had been staying at the motel and was found by two other motel residents who were taking out garbage.

Authorities said the trench was dug when Cummings decided to remove an old septic system. It was 6 feet deep in places and portions of it may have been obscured by snow.

The man fell into the ditch and broke through the old septic tank, trapping his foot.

Cummings said the man’s brother told him doctors expect the man will lose his left arm to frostbite.

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