We were covering the latest big sinkhole in our area (in Wood River, IL) when a woman came by on her bike and started talking to me about it.
Turns out, her husband had been crushed in a trench collapse several years ago in Bethalto, IL. He survived, but is on disability. She had seen city workers in the sinkhole excavation without safety gear and was worried.
I asked the public services director about that, and he said his workers had stopped when they got that deep because they didn't have safety gear and the work would be contracted out to a company with the appropriate trench boxes.
An interesting note, the woman said it took 8 hours to free her husband and they got calls from all over, even Great Britain, wanting to ask him about his near death experience.