Shock moment flare explodes in recycling plant worker's hands

This is the dramatic moment a marine flare exploded in the hands of a man at a recycling plant after it was left in with household waste.

People are now being urged to "think safe" when throwing out festive rubbish after the item exploded as the employee picked it from a conveyor belt at a waste treatment room in Waterbeach, Cambridge.

However, the employee at waste management firm Amey escaped uninjured.

Account director Chris Smiles said: "At Waterbeach we deal with a range of waste for local authorities and businesses, which includes items which have been put out for kerbside recycling.

"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."

The area was soon evacuated before a second flare was discovered and disposed of.

Mr Smiles said: "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."

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