Woman rescued from garbage truck compactor in Manchester

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MANCHESTER — Firefighters and ambulance crews faced a precarious rescue situation Monday after a truck driver discovered a woman trapped inside the compactor portion of his garbage truck on Beech Hill Drive.

The driver, who spotted the woman via an interior camera, alerted emergency services after it appeared she had been inadvertently dumped into the vehicle from a dumpster at an earlier location.

The truck had already compacted its load multiple times before the discovery.

Upon arrival, Manchester fire crews initiated a technical rescue operation.

The woman, who was found standing and able to communicate, albeit disoriented, was trapped in the truck’s rear, according to Manchester Fire Battalion Chief Bob Beaudet.

Rescuers gained access to the woman from the truck’s top using ground ladders.

A team, including members from Rescue 1, Truck 7, and Engine 9, worked to stabilize the patient with c-spine precautions and secured her in a stokes basket for extraction.

The rescue was executed with a 4-point harness and the bucket of Truck 7, while AMR medics prepared to provide immediate care.

The woman, once safely removed, was transported to Elliot Hospital with serious injuries, though she is expected to survive, said Chief Ryan Cashin.

The operation faced additional challenges due to snow squalls and an unplowed parking area, complicating access.

The victim’s name and address remain undisclosed.

The woman’s situation could have been dire had the truck driver not noticed her presence, as the garbage compactor would have continued operating at subsequent stops.

She was described as conscious and in her 50s, though not fully alert at the time of rescue.

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