Garbage collector injured in explosion in Oakland

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Garbage collector injured in explosion in Oakland

A garbage truck driver was injured Tuesday morning after an explosion in Oakland. 

Around 8 a.m. the explosion happened near Moss Street at Fairmount Avenue, according to authorities. 

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad responded to the scene. 

Deputies sifted through a pile of rubble looking for the explosive device. 

The California Waste Solutions released a statement saying the garbage employee was emptying a recycling bin when the explosion occurred.

“Our employee was immediately transported to a local hospital and is in stable condition. Our management team is currently at the hospital providing additional support to the family as needed. The safety of our employees is of the utmost importance and we will continue working with local officials as the circumstances surrounding the incident are investigated.”

– Tasion Kwamilele – CWS’ Public Relations Manager

As seen in surveillance footage, the driver was thrown from the blast.

“It is about three seconds after he dumps it that you see that explosion,” Glen Hulsenberg with California Waste Solutions said.

Investigators say the video immediately played a key role in ruling out foul play.

“That did show some type of blast. It was more consistent with a pressure blast versus an explosion,” says Sergeant Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad. ” It is really unknown exactly what happened but we can rule out that it was a bomb or any kind of real explosive device.”

To be safe, the Bomb Squad escorted the truck to a California Waste Solutions site and dumped the load to search for what may have caused the blast. 

“You can see there’s an aerosol can that has been crushed. They might be suspected in this,” Sergeant Kelly said. 

“This job is a dangerous job and our drivers put themselves at risk when they go out every day,” Kwamilele said. 

However, the risk of a pressurized container exploding in a trash compactor is greatly diminished by properly disposing of hazardous waste. 

“It is important for households to really pay attention to how they properly recycle,” Kwamilele said. 

“Separate your recyclables and combustibles and pressurized materials so we don’t injure our folks who work in the garbage industry,” Sergeant Kelly said. 

For information on how to properly dispose of hazardous materials, go to stopwaste.org or oaklandrecycles.com

In the video, you see a woman rush to the aid of the fallen garbage worker. 

“As you can see, he is away from the truck so wouldn’t have been able to radio dispatch or call dispatch,” said Hulsenberg. “We are very appreciative of the citizens that are helping our driver.”

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