A 13-year-old Aboriginal boy in South Australia has died after he was crushed to death while sleeping in an industrial trash dumpster in the small town of Port Lincoln early Tuesday morning.

Spencer Benbolt, along with two friends, aged 11 and 12, was asleep at a garbage bin outside a McDonald’s at 5:20 a.m. when a garbage truck came to collect the trash in the regional city on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula.

The 12-year-old boy managed to jump out of the dumpster, but Benbolt and his 11-year-old companion were left inside in distress. The unharmed child proceeded to bang on the garbage truck window to alert the driver, but it was too late to stop the skip tipping.

The dumpster’s contents, including the two children, had already been poured into the back of the truck, leaving Benbolt with serious injuries.

According to the New York Post, emergency crews were called in to provide support, desperate to revive the boy, but Benbolt succumbed to his injuries at the scene soon after. The 11-year-old who was left with him inside the bin was treated for minor injuries.

It’s unknown why the young trio was sleeping in the wastebasket, but they reportedly ran away together and stayed out near the McDonald's restaurant for the night.

A member of the public had given them money for food moments before tragedy struck, the NY Daily News reported.

South Coast Local Service Area officer in charge Paul Bahr said the surviving boys are “traumatized.” Law enforcement will now explore why the children felt compelled to spend the night in a dumpster.

“We’re not aware of any reports of children sleeping in bins in Port Lincoln. Port Lincoln has an issue with homelessness like every community and from time to time we do get rough sleepers (but) I’m not aware of children sleeping rough,” he said

According to police, the Port Lincoln garbage truck driver was not aware the boys were in the bin and was “extremely shaken” by the incident. The driver has since been taken to the local hospital and treated for shock.

In a statement, SafeWork SA offered its condolences to the bereaved family, friends, and colleagues "at this distressing and sad time." The agency has immediately launched a probe into the incident, SBS reported.

People have started leaving flowers and children's toys near the site of the incident, as mourners paid their respects to the young boy. Members of the grieving Port Lincoln community were seen crying and hugging each other for comfort.

The Aboriginal Family Support Services refused to comment about the matter at this time.

The police are urging any witnesses to come forward as they prepare a report for the coroner.

A badly decomposing body was found inside a garbage can by a scavenger in East Harlem on Sunday, police confirmed. This is a representational image. PIXABAY

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