A BINMAN had to be airlifted to hospital after falling from a wagon and being trapped under its wheels.
The 53-year-old, from Great Lumley, was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, suffering from a fractured pelvis and serious internal injuries.
The incident happened in Waldridge Road, Chester-le-Street, yesterday morning.
Part of the road was closed fro three hours, while emergency services attended.
Terry Collins, corporate director of neighbourhood services at Durham County Council, which co-ordinates the recycling service, said: “Our thoughts are with our colleague and his family at this time and we wish him a quick recovery.
“An internal investigation is already under way and we will of course also co-operate fully with any other inquiries which result from this accident.”
A Durham Police spokeswoman said: “We were called just after 9am by the ambulance service reporting an incident involving a refuse operative in Waldridge Road, Chester-le-Street.
“It would appear that the operative has fallen from the vehicle and sustained injuries, which are described as serious.
“The man was airlifted to the RVI.”
The Health and Safety Executive has been notified about the incident.
Police are appealing for witnesses to call 375 2159.