Homeless man alive when put into waste-crushing truck

Gardaí believe Polish victim was sleeping in industrial-sized bin when it was collected

Gardaí attend the scene in which the body of a man was found by staff unloading a waste truck at a Panda facility on Ballymount Road, Dublin 2, yesterday morning. Photograph: Stephen Collins/ Collins Photos

Gardaí attend the scene in which the body of a man was found by staff unloading a waste truck at a Panda facility on Ballymount Road, Dublin 2, yesterday morning. Photograph: Stephen Collins/ Collins Photos

 


Gardaí believe a man found dead in a pile of rubbish at a waste disposal facility in Dublin yesterday was homeless and sleeping in an industrial-sized bin when its contents were collected, crushed and dumped.

He is believed to have been alive when tipped into the lorry along with the contents of the bin. Sources said he was crushed to death in the back of the vehicle by the machinery that compresses rubbish in refuse trucks.

Staff working for the waste company involved only became aware of the man’s body in the refuse when the collection truck was emptied at the recycling and refuse facility in Walkinstown, west Dublin, yesterday morning.

The facility on Ballymount Road in Dublin 24 is owned by the Panda refuse and recycling company. A spokesman said the firm had no comment.

The dead man was carrying identification papers on his person when his body was discovered and gardaí investigating the case are satisfied they have identified him. He was in his 30s and from Poland.

His name was not being released until his relatives in Poland had been contacted. This process was still under way late last night.

“It looks like he fell on hard times for whatever reason and was sleeping in this bin probably because it was cold or wet,” said one Garda source.

The Irish Times understands the post mortem on the dead man’s remains revealed he was alive when he entered the back of the truck and then sustained crush injuries from the jaws of the vehicle that compress refuse.

The truck the man was tipped into had been collecting refuse from a number of commercial premises in south Dublin early yesterday morning.

The route of the lorry was being traced last night in an effort to determine where he may have been tipped into the lorry. Gardai are hopeful that if they can identify the area, they may be able to piece together the man’s last movements and try to determine exactly how and why he was in the large bin.

After the body was found at around 9am, staff alerted the Garda and the area was sealed off when they arrived.

The body was left in the refuse pending the arrival at the scene of Deputy State Pathologist Dr Michael Curtis.

He arrived at around noon and carried out a preliminary examination of the body at the scene before it was removed for a full postmortem.

Gardaí said while they could not be sure why the man was in the large bin, they have ruled out foul play and believe he was most likely sleeping in the rubbish.

In a similar case six years ago, 36-year-old Kevin Fitzpatrick from England died when the bin he was sleeping in was tipped into a truck in Limerick and he was crushed.