His fellow workers could hear his voice – at first – then a construction worker buried in a trench collapse fell silent, and died.

The incident occurred at a suburban Detroit worksite at 1:30 yesterday afternoon – although emergency responders were not able to recover the man’s body for four hours, according to news reports. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Workers were digging a trench at an abandoned motel, preparing for the demolition of the building.

The victim – a contract worker – was working alone, trying to tap off a sewer line when the collapse occurred, burying him in heavy clay.

Sterling Heights fire Chief Chris Martin said the 11 foot deep trench did not appear to have any  shoring.

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.