Police say it was an accident, but now they are investigating how this fatal accident could have happened.
Atlantic Drain Services was initially hired to work on the water lines for a home on Dartmouth Street in the South End. The fire department says the trench where the men were working collapsed. Shortly after a pipe burst and sent water flowing into the trench. Some of the workers were able to get out however two men remained trapped inside and later drowned.
According to necn Investigates, the Roslindale-based company has had several violations in recent years. Last year alone they faced 12 violations related to underground construction. Some of the infractions were included violating protocol for head protection, equipment, and wiring methods.
OSHA reports that Atlantic Drain Services failed to have a required rescue team in place on a former job site, which also puts employees at risk. Additionally the company did not assess air to see if employees were exposed to toxic gasses that are likely present on job sites. In total, the company was fined $95,000. The treasury department is still trying to collect these funds.
Meanwhile, necn has learned the names of the two victims.
The family of Kelvin Mattocks confirmed he was one of the two killed in Friday's incident. According to the Boston Globe, the Brockton man was 53 years old and a father of four.
Robert Higgins, 47, lived in Warren, Rhode Island, and would commute to his job with Atlantic Drain Services in Massachusetts.
"He was just a kind person. He was an average, gentle, kind person. Always there to help you out," Marilyn Hewitt, Higgins' aunt, said.
A woman who lives on Dartmouth Street where the accident happened said she's saddened that two of the workers she often talked to have now passed.
"I would walk by slowly with my dogs, and I would ask them questions, chit chat," Julianne Shelci said. "They were nice."