YUMA, Ariz. - A man was taken to a Yuma hospital after he was caught trapped inside a garbage truck.
The Yuma Fire Department said they responded Monday just after 5:30 a.m. after they received a report of a person trapped inside a garbage truck. Fire crews were called to the area of Eighth Avenue and 22nd Place.
Yuma Fire Department personnel arrived to find Yuma police officers with a C & D Disposal refuse collection truck at that location. A person was inside the truck’s cargo compartment along with a full load of garbage, and unable to get out.
It was determined that the 55-year-old man had been sleeping inside a dumpster near Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC), when the refuse truck had made a pick up, emptying the dumpster into the cargo compartment of the truck. The driver stopped to unlock a trash container at the Eighth Avenue location and heard screaming coming from inside.
Attempts to extricate the person through the load of trash were unsuccessful and the decision was made to dump out the load in a vacant lot. Dumping the load mechanically was not able to be done, as it would have required compaction of the trash in the cargo compartment. Additional YFD personnel were called to the scene and began the process of manually removing the load.
After approximately three hours and removing six tons of refuse, the person was successfully extracted and transported to YRMC for further evaluation. Two firefighters received minor injuries during the extrication process. Trespassing on and in commercial dumpsters is very dangerous, and this incident could easily have resulted in serious injuries or a fatality.