Hazardous material in garbage injures 1

A Waste Management employee was taken to the hospital and Forest Avenue in Bellevue was shut down to traffic Tuesday morning after something containing a hazardous material exploded in the garbage truck hopper.

Bellevue Volunteer Fire Company reported that the substance was muriatic acid, a form of hydrochloric acid sometimes used to clean masonry.Considered a very dangerous household chemical, its fumes can burn a person’s nose, throat and lungs.

Police say the explosion in the truck created a plume cloud that overwhelmed the Waste Management employee.

Police are investigating in an attempt to determine where the material was picked up that morning. The explosion occurred in the 500 block of Forest Avenue.

The disposal of hazardous materials in the regular weekly garbage pick-up is illegal, police say, and anyone doing so will be prosecuted. Anyone who needs to dispose of hazardous chemicals should contact Waste Management, which offers a special service for such items.