2 sanitation workers hurt in Manhattan garbage truck fire

UPPER WEST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Firefighters were on the scene of a fire that broke out in a garbage truck on the Upper West Side Friday morning.

It happened around 6:30 a.m. at Columbus Avenue and West 89th Street.

Authorities say two Department of Sanitation workers were injured after the rear of their garbage became engulfed in flames while they were picking up trash.

The injuries were considered minor.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and the sanitation department released the following statement:

"This morning, there was a small explosion in the hopper of a collection truck in the vicinity of 90th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Two Sanitation Workers were taken to the hospital for evaluation, however, there appears to be no serious injuries.

Upon investigation, an improperly discarded small oxygen cylinder was found in the hopper, which is believed to have caused the small explosion.

Small oxygen tanks and other materials like liquid solvents, automotive materials, flammables and electronics, can seriously harm sanitation workers and landfill employees and contaminate our waterways if they are not safely disposed. They should never be placed with regular garbage collection.

DSNY offers multiple ways for the proper and safe disposal of harmful materials. We have special waste drop-off sites in all five boroughs that are open throughout the year, and we host SAFE Disposal events in the spring where residents can safely dispose of electronics and hazardous materials. Medical devices like small oxygen tanks can also be exchanged when purchasing a new one.

For a full list of items that require safe disposal or for any questions, residents should visit the DSNY website, or call 311."

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