FD: Search for missing construction worker shifts from rescue to recovery operation

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The search and rescue teams are using a vacuum truck to remove dirt to get to the missing construction worker. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The search and rescue teams are using a vacuum truck to remove dirt to get to the missing construction worker. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.) (Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.)
Construction worker missing after drill rig collapse. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News) Construction worker missing after drill rig collapse. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 News)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.) (Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.)
(Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.) (Source: Phoenix Fire Dept.)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The search and rescue efforts for a missing construction worker near Sky Harbor are shifting to a recovery operation, according to the Phoenix Fire Department. 

Officials with Phoenix fire say this phase of the emergency operation could take days to complete. 

On Tuesday evening, crews brought in a vacuum truck and started to remove the dirt around the hole. The hole depth is around 12 feet but the victim could be as deep as 30 feet, the fire department said. They will resume the operation on Wednesday at 7 a.m.

On Monday morning, a drilling rig toppled onto its side near Sky Harbor Airport. A worker was reported missing.

"It is believed that he was the operator of the device," Capt. Jake Van Hook of the Phoenix Fire Department told Arizona's Family Monday.

[PREVIOUS STORY: 1 missing after drilling rig topples near Sky Harbor]

On Tuesday afternoon, crews were able to remove the drill rig from the collapsed hole.

The removal process involved the use of two large cranes. 

Phoenix Fire Capt. Larry Subervi said this about the efforts underway:

The phase of the recovery is expected to last a few more hours as the drill rig has to be moved and stabilized in a safe location. From here construction crews and firefighters will continue to work along side to ensure that the area surrounding the hole is safe. Once that is complete efforts to remove large amounts of dirt during the recovery will ensue. 

Sky Harbor Airport released the following statement Tuesday:

“We are saddened by the incidents of yesterday at the construction site. Our 100% focus at this time is on the missing worker, the worker’s family and co-workers, and those performing the recovery operation.”

Deborah Ostreicher, Assistant Aviation Director

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