British Columbia

Man dies after getting stuck in clothing donation bin in West Vancouver

A 34-year-old Vancouver resident has died after getting stuck in a clothing donation bin near Ambleside Park in West Vancouver.

Local charity calls for donation bin removals

A 34-year-old Vancouver man is the second person in Metro Vancouver to die in 2018 in a charity clothing bin like the one pictured above. (CBC News)

A man is dead after he was found stuck in a clothing donation bin in West Vancouver on Sunday morning.

First responders received a call just before 8:30 a.m. from an off-duty physician who discovered the man near Ambleside Park at the intersection of 13th Street and Bellevue Avenue, according to Const. Jeff Palmer, spokesperson for the West Vancouver Police Department.

Palmer said the man was unresponsive and stuck partway in the opening of the bin. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Donation bins are found in parking lots and along roadsides across Metro Vancouver. The hatches are designed to keep goods inside and protected, but if a person gets trapped in the mechanism, they can be constricted and killed.

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death, but Palmer said there is no indication of any foul play.

"It does appear this is a very tragic but accidental death," said Palmer.

The family of the 34-year-old Vancouver resident has been notified of his death, but his identity has not been released.

Palmer said there have been no other clothing bin injuries or deaths in West Vancouver

In July, a woman in her 30s died after being stuck in a clothing bin on Vancouver's West Side, and a man was found dead in Surrey after getting caught in a clothing donation bin near Guildford in 2016.

'Change needs to happen now'

Sunday's death renewed the call for change from a Vancouver-based charity that works with the homeless on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Union Gospel Mission (UGM) spokesperson Nicole Mucci said the death is "absolutely gut-wrenching" and added that donations bins need to be removed from the streets until they are safe.

"If UGM had bins like this, we would have taken them off the streets long ago. We have a responsibility to protect the most vulnerable members in our population," said Mucci.

"If one life has been lost, that's one life too many. Change needs to happen now."

As of Monday evening, the donation bin had been cordoned off with police tape but had not yet been removed from its location.

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