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Wednesday, 19 September, 2001, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Man cheats wheelie bin death
Wheelie bins
The man narrowly escaped being crushed
A man who fell asleep in a wheelie bin had to be rescued when he was tipped into a refuse truck.

Refuse collectors managed to hit the emergency buttons before the man was crushed.

The man, who has not been identified, was belived to have fallen asleep in the industrial bin after being involved in a fracas.

Refuse workers, who collected the bin, outside a clothes shop in Dingwall, said the man had` a miraculous escape.

The man must have been pretty soundly asleep not to awaken while we wheeled the bin to the lorry

Alistair Tulloch

Loader operator Alistair Tulloch was about to activate the packer plate when the alarm was raised by the man's screams for help.

However, the man, who appeared to be badly shaken, then sped from the scene.

Foreman Norrie Aikman said he decided to call the police as the man appeared to have sustained some kind of leg injury.

Workers heard a cry for help

"There is no doubt that without the quick action of the crew, this young man would have been crumpled to death," Mr Aikman said.

"The young man, about 19 years old, ran off when I advised him the police would need to be called so we have no idea who he is.

"This is a most unusual incident and hopefully no one else would be daft enough to sleep in a wheelie bin.

"The crew deserve a huge amount of credit for averting a tragedy."

'What a fright'

Mr Tulloch said: "The man must have been pretty soundly asleep not to awaken while we wheeled the bin to the lorry.

"The bin was then lifted into place and emptied. From ground level you cannot see into the well of the lorry as it is masked by the bin.

"But I heard the man screaming and I got a real shock when I saw someone inside.

"Luckily I was able to hit the emergency stop button which stopped the packer plate a foot from his head.

"What a fright we all got."

See also:

14 Dec 00 | Scotland
Legal stink over wheelie bins
16 Nov 00 | Scotland
Union steps up council strikes
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