By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The family and friends of Kyle Hancock gathered at a Glen Burnie funeral home to mourn and remember a young man whose life was taken in a trench collapse last Tuesday in Clifton Park in Northeast Baltimore.

Hancock was just 20 years old, and was part of a crew working to repair a sewage back-up, when the ground above him gave way.

Construction experts say there are federal rules to keep that from happening.

“If you’re going underground, anything over 5 feet requires some type of trench box or shoring that will protect workers in the hole,” said Steve Lanning of the Laborer’s International Union.

That type of safety equipment was assembled by firefighters who specialize in trench rescues, after Hancock became trapped.

“When we arrived on the scene, we didn’t see any protective barrier,” Baltimore Fire spokesman Blair Adams said.

Besides trench boxes, federal safety rules require work be supervised by someone qualified to judge soil conditions and risks, and take the appropriate safety measures.

It’s not known if R F Warder, the contractor doing the work, had such a person on site.

While the impact of Hancock’s death was immediate, investigations into the cause of the accident will likely take several weeks.

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