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Another trash collector hurt by acid

Another garbage collector was hospitalised for treatment after he inhaled muriatic acid fumes that erupted from residential garbage.

The incident occurred this afternoon, during residential garbage collection at the east end.

It was the second such incident in the space of a week.

Public Works Minister Trevor Moniz confirmed the acid splashed on the workman and damaged his lungs. The worker was interviewed by police and a full-scale investigation is now underway.

At a press conference held this afternoon, the Minister called on residents “to be mindful to dispose of trash in appropriate ways” especially with potentially hazardous wastes that should be dropped off at the Tynes Bay Incinerator.

Said Mr Moniz: “We’ve been very lucky so far but to have such incidents in a week is an indicator of a very sloppy approach to by some members of the public to what is potentially a very dangerous circumstance.

“In both of these circumstances the liquid is presumed to be muriatic acid which has a variety of uses but is an extremely dangerous substance if it comes into contact with people, with their lungs if they breathe in the gas or their eyes,” he said.

Solid waste manager Allan Hunt warned that this incident is “something that can have a devastating effect on personnel”. And he lamented the fact that incidents like this put all garbage collectors at risk.

“When it is put into the truck by collectors it is compacted and at that moment the bottle, or whatever the carrier is, can explode under pressure. And when this happens the reaction with other waste creates a gas, or it could a liquid spray, but it is very dangerous.”

Mr Hunt added that the employee was treated by first responders in St George’s before he was taken to the hospital’s Emergency Ward. He also confirmed that a police investigation is now underway. He stressed however, that it is not being treated as a deliberate incident.

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Published April 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm (Updated April 19, 2013 at 6:11 pm)

Another trash collector hurt by acid

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