Truck dumps 25 bags of deadly ma­te­rial in chil­dren’s drive­way

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

CHIL­DREN were ex­posed to asbestos dust when a tip truck dumped tonnes of the deadly build­ing ma­te­rial on the drive­way of an Oat­lands home.

Po­lice and Par­ra­matta Coun­cil rangers are look­ing for the truck driver who backed up to a house on Volmer St at 9.50pm on Fri­day un­der the cover of dark­ness and tipped out 25 bags of asbestos.

How­ever, the chil­dren’s fa­ther and owner of the house, Tony Had­dad, be­lieved to be in the con­struc­tion in­dus­try, has de­clined to as­sist po­lice with their in­quiries.

The fam­ily couldn’t think of any­one who would want to tar­get them and yes­ter­day morn­ing be­gan their own in­ves­ti­ga­tion by sourc­ing CCTV from the neigh­bour­hood in an at­tempt to iden­tify the truck’s li­cence plate num­ber.

Eigh­teen-year-old Ar­manii Had­dad, her 14-year-old brother Tony, and 12-year-old sis­ter Natar­sha ran out­side as the truck pulled away, be­fore touch­ing the asbestos wall sheet­ing and po­ten­tially breath­ing in dust which had es­caped when the bags split on im­pact.

The chil­dren claimed the six­tonne truck didn’t have a re­vers­ing alarm and didn’t know it was there un­til they heard the asbestos be­ing un­loaded.

“All we saw was a big truck dump a whole lot of God knows what, then me and my younger sis­ter ran out and we were touch­ing it and breath- ing it in,” Ar­manii said. “Luck­ily the baby was up­stairs be­cause ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing our neigh­bours, was touch­ing it to see what it was be­cause we though it was just gyprock.

“As soon as the fire brigade saw it and saw all the kids out­side, they screamed for us to get in­side and pulled their masks on.”

CCTV footage showed the truck pass by the house be­fore re­turn­ing and back­ing into the drive­way six times be­fore it was prop­erly aligned.

After the girls ran out­side, the driver of the truck sped away be­fore they had time to lower the tip tray.

Spe­cial­ist Fire and Res­cue NSW haz­mat crews sprayed a PVC glue to cover the asbestos to con­tain any par­ti­cles and then the crew cov­ered the asbestos with plas­tic sheet­ing. The of­fend­ers face de­lib­er­ate il­le­gal dump­ing fines of up to $250,000 for an in­di­vid­ual and $1,000,000 for a cor­po­ra­tion.

“CCTV footage from the scene is cur­rently be­ing ex­am­ined by coun­cil rangers and po­lice,” a Par­ra­matta Coun­cil spokes­woman said.

“The sur­round­ing streets have also been ex­am­ined to iden­tify any ad­di­tional CCTV that may also as­sist coun­cil and po­lice in­ves­ti­gat­ing this il­le­gal dump­ing.”

Waste-re­moval con­trac­tors wear­ing pro­tec­tive masks and suits spent four hours re­mov­ing the asbestos by hand. Par­ra­matta Coun­cil would not re­move the asbestos, as it fell 20cm within the bound­ary of the Had­dads’ prop­erty.

CCTV footage of the truck back­ing up to the Oat­lands house and dump­ing asbestos. Spe­cial­ist work­ers wear­ing pro­tec­tive cloth­ing re­move four tonnes of asbestos. Pic­ture: Ju­lian An­drews

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