Fire department IDs deceased construction worker recovered from collapsed trench in Clifton Park

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Workers labor into the night attempting to rescue construction worker Kyle Hancock. Photo via the Baltimore City Fire Department.

The Baltimore City Fire Department has identified the man who died after a trench in Clifton Park collapsed on him as 19-year-old Kyle Hancock, a construction worker from Glen Burnie.

Hancock worked for R.F. Warder, a commercial HVAC and plumbing company based in White Marsh, the department said. 

“From what we were told by the other construction workers, the 19-year-old was inside of the hole working on a sewage line when dirt and debris fell on top of him,” Chief Niles R. Ford said in a statement.

Rescue workers from the fire department’s Special Operations Command Unit arrived on the scene about 3:30 p.m. yesterday and worked until about 1:30 a.m. to recover Hancock’s body.

During a press conference this afternoon, spokeswoman Blair Skinner said rescue workers found two of Hancock’s co-workers attempting to dig him out when they arrived, but there were no protective barriers in the trench.

They surveyed the scene and placed a barrier into the trench, which Skinner said was approximately 15 feet deep.

“We knew immediately that if we wanted to rescue the 19-year-old construction worker we had to get down there,” she said. “But before we can even do that, we had to build this protective barrier for our guys to even go in.”

Once the trench was deemed safe, workers began carefully digging in an attempt to rescue Hancock without harming him further.

“After a certain time, we knew it was more so a recovery than a rescue,” said Skinner.

Workers dug another five feet down in the trench, to about 20 feet, before locating Hancock.

Maryland Occupational Safety and Health, a group within the state Department of Labor and Industry, is reviewing the incident, Skinner said. Theresa Blaner, director of communications and media relations for the department, said there is an investigation but she could not comment since it is ongoing.

A woman who answered the phone at R.F. Warder said the company did not have any comment.

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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