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The waste paper and cardboard recycling container in whch the homeless man was sheltering. J. M.
Seconds away from death: Lucky escape for homeless man who was sheltering from the cold in a recycling container in Spain
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Seconds away from death: Lucky escape for homeless man who was sheltering from the cold in a recycling container in Spain

The 24-year-old managed attract the attention of the vehicle's operator before the waste packaging material was compacted in the back of the truck in Spain's Valencía region

Javier Martínez

Valencia

Monday, 29 January 2024, 15:42

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A homeless man has had a lucky escape after a cardboard and waste paper recylcing container he was sheltering inside was picked up and emptied into a rubbish collection truck in Spain's Valencia region on Sunday.

The happened just after 8am on 28 January next to a hotel in Calle Comedias in the centre of Valencia city. It was only after the driver heard several knocks coming from inside the lorry did he suspect there might be a person or an animal among the rubbish and immediately stopped the mechanism that compacts the waste.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian man inside the truck suffered cuts to his head. According to sources from Agricultores de la Vega de Valencia, "it was close to a tragedy", as the driver "was on the point of pressing the button to compact cardboard and paper waste he had just collected".

In recent years, similar incidents have been reported in Valencia and other cities in Spain, which is why rubbish truck drivers take precautions and do not immediately compact waste after collection.

While being helped in the street by police and paramedics, the young man said he had been homeless as he could not find work and that he had been begging for food and money on the street for several days. He also said that he had crawled into the recycling container on Saturday night to sleep and shelter from the cold.

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