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Woman dies after getting trapped in clothing donation bin

11 January 2019

A woman who died after being found without vital signs partially inside a Toronto clothing donation bin was remembered by friends as a bubbly person who struggled with homelessness and addiction.

The emergency services then made efforts to resuscitate the woman but were unsuccessful and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Four people have died over the past few years in clothing donation bins in the Lower Mainland.

He said the manufacturers of these types of bins - and there are at least nine or 10 different versions in Canada - most likely didn't account for desperate people trying to get inside of them when they were designed.

"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".

"Shut them all down and get a designer and redesign these things". Police say she appears to have died after a medical episode, so the exact cause of death is not yet known.

The spate of deaths have lead to advocates in Canada labelling the bins "death traps".

Agro said the bins most commonly involved in deaths are mailbox-style designs with an internal flap preventing people from reaching inside.

All bins in West Vancouver were removed following the December incident.

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

Toronto Police Const. Genifferjit Sidhu said that deaths such as these can be horrific.

"Part of you gets stuck in there, say it be your neck or a fragile part of you", she said.

Jeremy Hunka of Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver said the numerous deaths, five of which took place in B.C., are unacceptable.

A Global News camera operator spotted someone climbing into a donation bin on Kensington Avenue just before 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Patricia O'Connell, executive director at Sistering, a west-end charity-run women's shelter not far from where the woman was found dead, confirmed the woman, named Chrystal, had stayed there in the past.

Residents said the donation box the woman was trapped in was a relatively new addition to the neighbourhood.

In addition to developing prototypes in-house, he said the company has teamed up with a professor at the University of British Columbia who has tasked fourth-year engineering students with developing designs for boxes that are both safe and theft-proof.

Woman dies after getting trapped in clothing donation bin