Plumber, military veteran killed in trench collapse; family launches GoFundMe for expenses

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Updated Aug 22, 2018
The scene of a trench collapse August 16 in Philadelphia in which plumber Anthony Smith died. Credit: Philadelphia Fire DepartmentThe scene of a trench collapse August 16 in Philadelphia in which plumber Anthony Smith died. Credit: Philadelphia Fire Department

A plumber died August 16 in Philadelphia following a trench collapse.

Anthony Smith was a husband and father of two children ages 7 and 14 and a veteran who served in Afghanistan, according to a GoFundMe page set up by relatives to help his wife and children.

Details of what caused the collapse are under investigation, but media reports indicate that Smith was working inside the trench about 11:15 a.m. outside a home on West Walnut Park Drive when dirt and concrete caved in.

Anthony Smith served in Afghanistan and was a husband and father. Photo credit: GoFundMeAnthony Smith served in Afghanistan and was a husband and father. Photo credit: GoFundMe

Philadelphia Fire Department officials said firefighters first had to shore up the 15-foot-deep trench so it would be safe enough to enter to try to rescue Smith, who was still alive when rescuers arrived, but later died while buried.

The operation took about nine hours to recover his body. Media reports said about 100 responders were involved in the operation.

“He was a good man & hard worker,” says the GoFundMe page. “Anthony was a devoted family-man; husband & father. He was dedicated to his work & those he loved.”

Those who wish to help the family with expenses can donate to the GoFundMe page here.