He was up to his shoulders in dirt, but escapes serious injury.

A construction worker was trapped up to his shoulders in dirt in Fargo when the walls of a trench he was working in collapsed Wednesday morning.

By the time the Fargo Fire Department responded about 9:45 a.m., other workers helped dig the man out of the 16-foot-deep plumbing trench.

Assistant Chief Leroy Skarloken said the man wasn’t trapped for too long.

“It was a pretty serious situation. It could have been fatal,” Skarloken said.

Skarloken did not know the man’s condition, but guessed that his injuries were limited to aches, pains and stiffness. He was taken to a local hospital.

It’s unclear whether the worker was part of the excavating or plumbing company on site at the home.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration will investigate, Skarloken said, and may determine what led to the collapse.