The owner of a drain company has been arraigned after workers were tragically killed in a trench accident.

The accident happened back on Oct. 21, and the workers were with Atlantic Drain Services Inc. They’d been called in to go down in a trench and hook a pipe to a residence.

It sounds like a simple enough job, but reports indicate that it took hours for them to dig the trench, and they allegedly weren’t using the proper safety equipment.

The tragedy struck when the trench walls collapsed around them. They were trapped in dirt and gravel, trying to escape, when a hydrant began flooding the trench. Both men, one who was 53 years old and another who was 47 years old, were drowned.

The owner is now being blamed for their deaths because they didn’t have the right safety gear. According to reports, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had already investigated the company for the same issues — workers without safety equipment going into deep trenches — in both 2007 and 2012. The company had been fined more than $50,000.

In additional to causing the accident, he is being blamed for an attempted cover-up. It’s been alleged that he created fake documents saying the workers had taken out safety gear and gotten proper training, when that did not actually happen. He did plead not guilty to the charges.

When a worker is killed on the job, it’s a traumatic time for family members who are left behind. Though financial compensation can’t erase that, it can still help with funeral costs, lost wages, and the other costs connected to such an event.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Drain company, owner arraigned in trench deaths,” Evan Allen, Feb. 23, 2017