Sanitation worker injured in garbage truck blast recovering - CBS46 News

Sanitation worker injured in garbage truck blast recovering

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COBB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The sanitation worker who received a severe eye injury when an oxygen tank exploded in the back of a garbage truck Friday is recovering.

Will Smith's eyes were burned, and he initially lost his vision. Smith saw a specialist on Monday, who said his left eye is back to normal, and his right eye should catch up next week.

The incident on Friday was a frightening reminder of the dangers of the job. The day began like any other day of work for Smith, until an oxygen tank left out with the trash on Brentwood Drive in Marietta exploded inside the truck.

"When that happened, it was catastrophic. There was a wall of debris that ended up throwing garbage six houses away," Smith said.

The driver, Marvin Markham, received a cut on his face. Smith's eyes took the brunt of the blast.

"I remember trying to open my eyes and my right eye I couldn't see out of, and my left eye everything just started getting more and more blurry," Smith said.

Smith said he burning and itching was nearly unbearable.

"It was almost like I had been bitten by fire ants on the backs of my eyes and it was like I had mosquito bites on the bottom of my eyes," Smith said.

Doctors told Smith he lost the top layer over his eyes. They were severely burned and filled with debris.

"He said it was almost like a honeycomb effect of so much debris. I don't know if I'd be categorized as a blind person, but everything is just blurry," Smith said.

Smith hopes this accident serves as a reminder that the safety of sanitation workers depends on the trust of the people they serve.

"We have no idea what could be in there and I'm living proof of the impact it can have," Smith said.

Smith said the support from the city of Marietta has helped him keep a positive attitude. Smith has worked for the city for nine weeks.

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