ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Firefighters rescued a person trapped inside a solid waste truck Monday morning.

The Anderson Fire Department said just before 8 a.m., a solid waste truck driver arrived in their parking lot saying he could hear cries for help coming from inside his truck.

Firefighters climbed to the top of the truck and found a man buried underneath garbage.

“He was covered by several layers and loads of trash,” Anderson Fire Chief Charlie King explained. “They had to move that around and move it from the truck to be able to make access to him.”

Firefighters used a rope system to pull the man out of the truck.

“What we learned later on is that the gentleman is homeless in the area, had been in the dumpster and was asleep when the garbage truck was making its rounds,” King said. “It essentially dumped him into the larger container on the truck.”

Firefighters and EMS teams provided care to the man before he was taken to the hospital. The man suffered traumatic injuries, according to the fire department.

“We thank the truck driver because he was able to quickly recognize that there was a problem,” King said. “He was a block away and came right to the fire station to get quick help. I really think he played a large role in saving the gentleman’s life.

Following the rescue effort at the fire station, the truck was taken to a city lot where crews searched through it to ensure no one else was inside.

The Anderson Police Department, Anderson County EMS, Medshore Ambulance Service, AC Central Dispatch, City of Anderson Public Works and Anderson County HazMat Team assisted in the rescue.

The truck’s operator, Republic Services of South Carolina, released the following statement about the incident:

Earlier today, a Republic Services of South Carolina truck was involved in an incident with a pedestrian who was inside a trash container. We are fully cooperating with local authorities as they investigate.

Republic Services Media Relations