Tank Explosion Injures Two Wilmington Sanitation Workers, Officials Release More Details

Two employees of the Wilmington Public Works Department were injured this morning after something apparently exploded in their trash truck.

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At around 7:20 this morning firefighters and rescue crews were dispatched to the unit block of Vandever Avenue for reports of a victim with burn injuries due to an explosion.

As additional details emerged crews learned that a second patient was suffering from shrapnel wounds. Trooper 4 was then alerted and responded to the scene.

Wilmington Fire Department’s Squad 4 arrived on location immediately after dispatch and quickly began assessing both workers, said Battalion Chief John Looney.

Shortly thereafter Command reported that a pressurized container exploded when it was being compacted inside the trash truck.

Wilmington Police released a statement that said the preliminary investigation indicates that sanitation workers were loading refuse into their truck and began to compress the trash. At that time, one of the workers noticed a tank was in the truck, and as the compressor came down it caused the tank to explode.

One worker, a 40-year-old male, sustained a critical chest injury and was flown to the Trauma Center at Christiana Hospital in Stanton. He was conscious and alert on scene and is listed in critical condition.

Another worker, a 42-year-old male, was transported to Wilmington Hospital by ambulance after complaining that he was having difficulty breathing, according to Looney.

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