Boy dies after bin he was sleeping in gets emptied

The boy and two others were sleeping inside a large container when a rubbish truck collected it in Port Lincoln on Australia's southern coast. Police say the driver of the was "extremely shaken" by the fatality.

Boy dies after bin he was sleeping in gets emptied

The Australian town of Port Lincoln was left shocked Tuesday after a 13-year-old died as a garbage truck emptied a large bin near a downtown takeaway.

The boy and two other friends had been sleeping — unexplained — inside the industrial-sized skip. The two survivors were "traumatized," said South Australian state police.

One boy, 12, tried to alert the driver by banging on his door, but the container was lifted, tipped and emptied into the truck during the early morning pickup. 

Despite efforts by first responders, the 13-year-old "sustained serious injuries and died at the scene," said police. 

The tragedy had left the truck driver, who had been unaware the boys were sleeping in the container, "extremely shaken." 

Local police superintendent Paul Bahr told reporters it was a mystery why the three children, all from Port Lincoln, had ended up sleeping in the bin. 

The boys could not be classed as homeless, said Bahr in remarks carried by 7News. "I think it is fair to say the boys had [had] somewhere to stay."

Mayor Brad Flaherty said the boy's death was "very, very sad" and had left his community "shocked."

"Port Lincoln has a very strong community and will stand behind the families involved," he told Australian media.

South Australia's workplace health and safety agency SafeWork SA said its inspectors had gone to the site and offered its condolences.

The fatality happened in a car park next to a McDonald's takeaway in the shopping precinct of Port Lincoln, a town of 14,500 lying 250 kilometers (155 miles) directly west of Adelaide but seven hours drive around a giant bay.

The fishing hub on the Southern Eyre Peninsula harvests waters of Australia's rugged Southern Bight coastline.

As a tourism, rural and fishing hub on the continent's expansive southern coastline, Port Lincoln describes itself as the "Seafood Capital of Australia."

dpa, DW