WESTFIELD - A construction worker is recovering after he was nearly buried alive when the trench he was working in collapsed in Westfield.

Officials say the trench collapsed around 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, trapping the man in the heavy soil and clay.

Rescuers had to use pails and small shovels along with iron framework to hold back the dirt while digging the man out.

The man was removed from the trench around 3 p.m.

Deputy Chief Lathey Wirkus, of the Elizabeth Fire Department, said the situation was life threatening.

The man was taken to University Hospital, where he is listed in stable condition.