Sleeping man scooped into Workington recycling wagon

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Media captionA worker heard the man banging inside the vehicle

A man who fell asleep in a waste container narrowly avoided being crushed when he was scooped into the back of a recycling wagon.

One of the collectors heard him banging inside the vehicle doing its round in Workington, Cumbria, and activated the emergency stop on the compactor.

Police and fire crews helped extricate him and he walked away unhurt.

An investigation into the incident at 06:50 BST is under way and the Health and Safety Executive has been informed.

'Slicing device'

The man is believed to have been on his way home after a night out when he clambered into a commercial paper and card waste container.

Charles Holmes, head of community services at Allerdale Borough Council, praised the quick action of the operators who stopped the process immediately.

He said: "The man was extremely lucky not to be seriously injured or indeed killed because of the way the vehicle operates.

"There's a very large metal slicing device which comes down to compact the waste and if you get caught in that then there really isn't any chance of survival."

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