A witness said he heard a sound like a balloon popping and turned around to see a trash collector with a bloody face. The injury occurred when the Deffenbaugh worker was about to throw a black trash bag into a garbage truck.
Scott Grasso had been working on a van in a driveway across the street. After hearing the pop noise he saw the trash collector staggering. Grasso said, “He was walking around, kind of stumbling. He sat down right here where the blood stains are at.”
Grasso said he asked what happened, “He just said blew up.” Grasso is a mechanic and believes the trash bag had contained an aerosol can. Grasso had a digital thermometer with him and measured the area where the trash bag had been sitting at 104 degrees.
However Grasso said, “That’s just the concrete. You also have a black garbage bag and black trash can where heat can build up. City environmental experts encourage citizens to bring aerosol cans to under the sink recycling center near 120th and I streets. Under the Sink supervisor Wayne Beal said, “Many of these will say on them not to store at 120 degrees. But when cans like these get inside a trash can or bag and exposed to sunlight it can get very hot.”
The witness Scott Grasso said he called Deffenbaugh and a company supervisor picked up the injured worker to take in for treatment. Grasso said, “When it exploded it cut from the bottom of his nose to his lips. It split it wide open.”
A Deffenbaugh spokesman said Fact Finders wouldn't be able to talk to the worker. The trash hauler declined to provide details of the incident. As for the condition of the worker we're told “He’ll be fine” Occupation Health and Safety or OSHA will investigate.