Two men working on a garbage truck in New Taipei City were injured when a gas cylinder tossed out with general trash exploded in the back of the truck this afternoon.
New Taipei City Fire Department said that it received a report of an explosion and fire in the back of a garbage truck on Yongfeng Road in Tucheng District at around 3:00 pm.
According to Taiwan’s Central News Agency, the two workers, named Lin and Yang, helped a resident hoist a jumbo-sized trash bag into the back of the truck before engaging the compressor. While the garbage was being compressed there was a sudden fiery explosion. One man was injured on his arms and face, and the other on the side of his head and back of his neck.
Yang and Lin were sent to New Taipei Municipal Tucheng Hospital, and released after having their wounds treated and dressed.
After extinguishing the residual fire, firefighters found several cassette stove gas canisters among the garbage in the back of the truck. It is suspected that residual gas in one of the cans was ignited when the garbage was compressed.
Tucheng police questioned a man named Liao after the incident. Liao said that he was helping an elderly resident dump the garbage, and didn’t know what was inside the bags.
The New Taipei City Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau said that it will issue a fine of NT$6,000 to the offender for violating waste disposal regulations, and will file a formal complaint, and seek compensation for the incident.
Liao will also be charged for negligent injury.
The Environmental Protection Bureau stated that explosive objects such as gas canisters should not be mixed with general garbage, or thrown into the garbage truck. Pressurized containers should be emptied first, and then handed over to the recycling vehicle for recycling.
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