Fire Contained in DEH Garbage Truck Load

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A fire in a Department of Environmental Health (DEH) garbage collection truck was contained quickly this morning (Tuesday, 24 January 2017) on Commercial Drive in George Town Industrial Estate.

The vehicle's load was observed to be smouldering and threatening to catch fire at around 7.10 a.m. after the truck inadvertently picked up garbage that included hot materials from a commercial bin in the centre of George Town.

The load was dumped out of the truck in a safe location along the edge of Commercial Drive where it ignited. Firefighters arrived shortly thereafter onto the scene along with a DEH clean-up crew.

Traffic was disrupted temporarily as the small blaze was brought under control by firefighters and the DEH litter crew then cleaned up the mess for disposal.

Nobody was injured in the incident and the truck received a full inspection by Department of Vehicle and Equipment Services mechanics to ensure it was roadworthy before going back into service later this morning.

"I am happy how our quick-thinking personnel worked together to minimise this incident," said Assistant Director, Solid Waste, Department of Environmental Health, Mark Rowlands. "Their quick reactions helped avoid injury to DEH workers or the public, damage to the truck, and prevented hot materials from entering into the landfill.

"As with any incident of this nature, our management team will now have an internal investigation to review and optimise our operating procedures. DEH requests the public properly ensures that hot materials are extinguished prior to disposal as this is unfortunately one of the ways that can contribute to landfill fires. We apologise for any inconvenience this morning."

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