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Rescue workers at the excavation site in Leimen

Photo: Rene Priebe / dpa

A 21-year-old man was buried and died in Leimen (Rhein-Neckar district) in Baden-Württemberg during archaeological excavation work. Whether the man was a construction worker or a research assistant, the police could not say for the time being. In any case, he was employed by the excavation team, said a police spokesman.

The man had been working on the floor of a historic stone vaulted cellar on Monday when soil and stones began to slide and buried the 21-year-old underneath. For unknown reasons, stones and soil had slipped into the vault, according to the police. The man working on the basement floor was buried.

With the help of an excavator, the 21-year-old was rescued, and rescue workers began resuscitation. However, resuscitation attempts were unsuccessful. Due to his injuries, the man died shortly afterwards in a hospital.

According to the police, whether the rain of the past few days had softened the earth too much or whether the site was insufficiently secured is the subject of the investigation.