Flare thrown out with household waste blew up in hands of recycling plant worker
A marine flare exploded in the hands of a recycling plant worker after it was discarded with household waste.
Dramatic video footage captures the moment the flare went off and ricocheted around a waste treatment room as the member of staff manually sorted through items on a conveyor belt.
The worker escaped without injury, operations were stopped and the facility at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire was evacuated after the explosion.
Inspection of the conveyor belt at Amey's Waterbeach Materials Recycling Facility found a second flare, which had also been mixed in with household kerbside recycling.
Amey's Chris Smiles said: "The marine flare came through with aluminium recycling but exploded in the hands of one of our employees when it reached our manual sorting area.
"Thankfully he was protected by his work clothing and was uninjured, but the consequences could have been much worse."
He continued: "Now, with Christmas almost upon us, we're urging residents to 'think safe' and consider whether an item could be a risk before throwing it away.
"For example, many presents will come with batteries but throwing items such as batteries (particularly lithium batteries found in mobile phones) in with general rubbish can cause a fire.
"No fire risk item should be placed in your normal or recycling bin - whether that's a flare, fireworks, shotgun cartridges, gas cylinders or batteries.
"If you're not sure how to dispose of an item check your local authority's website for expert advice."