A BOURNEMOUTH tip worker had ‘blood coming from his eyes and ears’ after an item left by a resident exploded.

A witness said the worker heard a hissing sound, turned to a colleague and said, ‘What’s this?’ before he was injured in the blast and had to be taken to hospital.

“It was an explosion,” said the witness, who asked not to be named. “Someone dropped off a load of rubbish at landfill and they were sorting through it when he picked up something.

“He turned to another guy and said ‘What’s this?’ and then it was hissing and then – boom! – it just exploded.

“There was blood coming from his eyes and ears.”

Emergency services were called to the Millhams Household Recycling Centre at 10.30am yesterday and closed it for two hours.

Tony Southam (pictured), 53, from Kinson, was among those turned away.

He said: “The police were here with their blue lights flashing and they were just waving people on.

“It was just a case of ‘you can’t come in’ but they weren’t telling us what was going on.”

A statement from Bournemouth council said an item in a cardboard box had ‘ignited spontaneously’.

One injured member of staff was treated at the scene and another, aged in his 30s, was taken to Poole Hospital.

No members of the public were injured.

The council said a full investigation had been launched and the Health and Safety Executive had been informed.

In the statement council chief executive Tony Williams said: “We wish the staff involved a full and very speedy recovery.”

He added: “I would also like to thank the emergency services for their swift response, and staff on site in being able to reopen the facility to the public so quickly.”

A spokesman for Dorset Police confirmed they were called to the tip yesterday morning to assist with traffic and pedestrian control and no further police action would be taken.

A spokesman for South Western Ambulance Service said: “We were called at 10.30am to attend an incident at Millhams Road recycling centre. One person was treated at the scene for minor injuries and one was taken to Poole accident and emergency, arriving at around 11.30am.”

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said: “We are aware’,” but did not comment further.

The running of the site is contracted out by Bournemouth Borough Council to Weymouth and Sherborne Recycling Services, who referred enquiries back to the town hall.