Woman dies after getting trapped in Toronto clothing donation bin

Saul Bowman
January 11, 2019

Papineau, according to a friend identified only as Victoria, often went to retrieve items from donation bins, which she then distributed to others.

Witnesses heard the woman calling for help shortly before 2am on Tuesday in the Canadian city of Toronto.Half of the woman's body was found sticking out of the box by emergency crews.

The department received a call around 1:40 a.m. and arrived to find the woman "injured and unconscious", according to a tweet by the Toronto Police Operations Centre.

Toronto Police told Daily Hive the woman was extracted from the bin but she was pronounced deceased at the scene.

At least one charity said it's actively working to retrofit its donation bins to address the problem.

In addition to the five deaths in B.C, a 32-year-old man was discovered dead inside a donation box in Cambridge, Ont., last November and a man in his 20s died in a similar container in Calgary in July 2017.

The City of Burnaby is asking organizations to remove their clothing donation bins from private property in the city, following the death of a man in such a bin in West Vancouver last month.

Mayor of Toronto John Tory said the city is now investigating the safety of the donation bins.


Tuesday's incident has sparked wide calls for the removal of the bins and a re-think of their design.

Despite living a tough life, Chantal Mattix said, Chrystal, who was in her mid-30s, "was a very bubbly person".

"She was a lovely human being", O'Connell told CBC.

"They are set up in a way to make it hard for people to have access to the inside of the box but obviously (they are) not safe enough". But they can also trap someone leaning in too far.

In New Westminster, staff say no one has made a request to the city to look into the issue of donation bins.

"These bins have a mailbox chute style opening which is different from the style used in West Vancouver", Chu said.

In the wake of the recent bin deaths, however, the company has suspended manufacturing until it can conceive of a safer design.

Instead, the engineering instructor said he believes retrofitting the individual bins would be a less expensive and sustainable option before a safer, standardized design can be developed in the future.

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