Orange Fire Department crews recovered the body of a man who died when a wall of the swimming pool he was digging in Orange collapsed around him, authorities said Monday.

The coroner was contacted at 11:20 a.m. Sunday to pick up the body of the 45-year-old man, according to Supervising Deputy Coroner Larry Esslinger. His name was not released pending notification of relatives.

Workers assembled a crane to lower a protective steel cage into the hole so that the man’s body could be recovered without the threat of another collapse, according to Orange Fire Capt. Ryan O’Connor.

The collapse was first reported at 10:52 a.m. Saturday in the 6200 block of East Cliffway Drive, O’Connor said.

The man was digging with four other men when part of a wall collapsed around him and he was buried up to his shoulders, O’Connor said.

The fire captain on the scene called for Urban Search and Rescue units from Orange, the Orange County Fire Authority, Anaheim and Huntington Beach while the first-arriving firefighters were lowered into the hole with ropes and began trying to clear the dirt away from the man, he said.

There was a secondary wall collapse and the man became completely buried, but firefighters continued to work to save him for more than two hours, O’Connor said.

About 1:30 p.m., the effort changed to a search for the man’s body, which continued Sunday.

CalOSHA was investigating the collapse, he said.

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