Inquiry into death of binman


THE HEALTH and Safety Authority and gardaí were last night investigating the death of a waste collection worker in Dublin.

The man, a married father of two in his 40s from Poland, became trapped in the back of an OZO truck in the Grand Canal area of the city as it was collecting refuse bins from businesses late on Wednesday night.

Garda sources said as a large refuse bin was being lifted by a mechanical mechanism on the back of the truck and its contents tipped into the vehicle, the bin became jammed.

“He seems to have crawled in to free the bin and was crushed to death when the crushing mechanism on the truck started working again suddenly,” said one source.

The victim has been named as Jack Ungerheur, whose wife and children live in Poland. He had come to Ireland to work and send back money to his family.

They were informed by telephone at 4am yesterday of his death and a Garda liaison officer, supported by interpreters, has been assigned to help the family.

A passer-by, who had been attending a nearby theatre said that when he passed the bin truck, he could hear shouting coming from the back of it. He said he then hit the emergency stop button at the side of the truck before calling for help.

In a statement issued yesterday the company said it was “devastated” by the death. “It is with heartbroken emotions that we have to make this announcement on behalf of all his friends and colleagues at the company.

“Due to this unforeseen tragedy we have released our service employees from their duties, as many of our colleagues are suffering from shock and upset and we appreciate your understanding that we may not be in a position to provide our full normal service at this moment in time.

“Our sincere condolences to his family, relatives, friends and work colleagues at this very sad time.”

It is believed the dead man had been emptying bins at the back of the truck on his own while a second worker sent bins up in a lift from the basement of businesses.

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Authority confirmed that a team of inspectors were investigating, with one officer at the scene before dawn.