I asked Steve Roth about whether there was any truth to the story that there is a worker (or more) in the concrete. He said yes. The volume of concrete that goes in and the rate of set of that mix is such that any attempt to rescue the worker would have resulted in more casualties.
There are many workers buried in the concrete of the Panama Canal as well. The cables that allowed movement of huge buckets of concrete used to pour the locks of the canal lasted only 10,000 trips from fill to empty. They discovered that statistic when the buckets fell on workers.
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