Two injured when oxygen tank explodes in Marietta garbage truck - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Two injured when oxygen tank explodes in Marietta garbage truck


Two people were injured Friday morning, when a discarded oxygen tank dumped into a garbage truck exploded.

It happened around 8 a.m. on Brentwood Drive in Marietta.

William Smith sustained serious injuries to both eyes, and was taken to Wellstar Kennestone Hospital. He saw an eye specialist on Friday afternoon. Marvin Markham suffered a laceration to the cheek, and was treated at the scene.

It's something the two sanitation workers on their normal route did not expect.

"I heard it, it woke me up," neighbor Eva Board said.

A neighbor put two oxygen tanks out with the trash. One exploded.

"There was like an explosion. It was literally like a bomb," neighbor Freda Heyen said. 

Pieces of debris flew as far as four houses away. Supervisor David Tiggs said this is a reminder of the danger of the job.

"It could have been a little bit more, it could have been the loss of an eye, but we ask homeowners to call us and notify us when they have items such as this, so we can tell them how to dispose of it properly," said Cobb County Sanitation Supervisor David Tiggs.

Police said the oxygen tanks came from a home where a woman recently passed away. Her son, in from out of town, pulled up as CBS Atlanta was on the scene.

"I had cleaners come through, and I'm not sure what was put in the trash bags that I took out," Justin Schmidt said.

As soon as he learned someone was injured, Schmidt said, "I got to get down there. I've got to go to the hospital."

Neighbors hope this serves as a reminder for everyone to be careful what you throw out.

"It is very scary. These gentlemen do us a great service, and we need to take care of them, and be responsible and think about what we put out at our curbs," Heyen said.

Marietta does post its residential sanitation and recycling rules online, and they hand them out to homeowners. They do not specifically mention oxygen tanks, but list they don't take tires, motor oil, batteries, liquid or hazardous wastes. For a complete list, click here.

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