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