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Homeless man injured after being scooped into bin lorry in Rochester High Street

Emergency crews were sent to Rochester High Street after a homeless man was accidentally scooped into a bin lorry.

The man, who was sleeping surrounded by cardboard in a large bin, is understood to have been taken to hospital suffering from leg fractures.

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Fire, police and ambulance crews were called shortly before 8am to reports somebody had been seriously injured. A large section of the high street was cordoned off.

A witness told the Messenger how they were walking their dog at 8.15am when they came across the emergency crews.

He added that he saw two paramedics running towards the dustcart with a longboard.

The air ambulance was also alerted and landed in nearby Castle Gardens at 8.30am.

The man was taken to hospital by land but accompanied by air ambulance paramedics.

Fire service spokesman Sacha Taylor said: "Crews were called at 7.50am following reports of a man trapped in a bin lorry outside the Don Vincenzo restaurant.

The bin lorry and fire engine in Rochester High Street
The bin lorry and fire engine in Rochester High Street

"They worked alongside ambulance, paramedics and a technician from the bin lorry company to rescue the man."

The bin lorry belongs to Veolia, which is contracted by Medway Council to collect rubbish from around the Towns.

The cordon was lifted at 9.15am and the high street has returned to normal.

Rich Airey, spokesman for the ambulance service said the man suffered potential leg and pelvis injuries.

He was treated at the scene and was taken by ambulance to Medway Maritime Hospital accompanied by paramedics from the air ambulance service.

Mr Airey added that the patient remained conscious while in the High Street. His condition is not yet known.

Police have blocked off part of Rochester High Street
Police have blocked off part of Rochester High Street

Ruth Du-Lieu, Medway Council’s assistant director of Frontline Services, said: “This morning Veolia contacted us to inform us that a man had fallen asleep in a bin, in Rochester High Street, overnight.

"Without knowing the bin was tipped into the back of a refuse truck. The operatives were immediately aware, stopped the vehicle and called the emergency services.

"This is a very sad incident and our thoughts are with the gentleman concerned. We’re investigating this fully with Veolia."

Liz Shaw, of One Big Family, a charity which supports homeless and vulnerable people in Medway, said: "It highlights the dangers of rough sleeping in the street.

"It's a shame because our shelter was open last night. It could have been a lot worse."

Cllr Andy Stamp, Medway Labour spokesman for regeneration and communities, said: "This is a shocking incident and one which never should have taken place.

"Our thoughts are with both the citizen involved as well as the refuse staff who clearly will be devastated at what has happened.

"I hope urgent lessons are learnt to ensure nobody is placed in such a situation again."

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