Council staff had a lucky escape when a fire extinguisher exploded after it had been put in a recycling bank.

No one was injured, but the incident left the recycling crew shaken and highlighted the potential risks of putting dangerous waste items in recycling banks.

The explosion happened on Tuesday, February 26, while the crew were emptying the contents of a recycling bank located in Tonsley Heights, in Wandsworth, into the back of their collection vehicle.

Recycling collector Richard Harangozo said: “We’d just emptied the contents of the recycling bank into the back of the lorry and pressed the button to squash it all down when there was this almighty bang and this cloud of white powder appeared.

“I’ve come across dead cats before, but nothing like this.”

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