A body found at a dump in Brentford could have ended up in landfill had staff not spotted the man's legs "sticking out the side of a container", workers have claimed.
On Thursday (February 19), police confirmed a body had been discovered that afternoon at a waste depot in Transport Avenue.
Speaking on Friday, they said the body was thought to be that of a man in his 30s, whose identity was believed to be known.
The death is being treated as unexplained.
A post-mortem is due to be carried out on Friday afternoon at Fulham Mortuary, which is expected to indicate how long the man had been dead for.
Workers at the dump told getwestlondon that colleagues had made the grisly discovery while trying to close a refuse container on its way out of the depot, probably headed to a landfill site.
"They were trying to close the container so it could be loaded onto a train and taken away when they saw someone's legs sticking out," said the employees, who did not want to be named. "Had the legs not been visible, the body would have left the site in the container and ended up in landfill, or wherever it was going.
"Who knows if it would have been discovered there?"
By Friday there was little sign that the site, which is sandwiched between the A4 and M4, and overlooks the River Brent, was a potential crime scene.
It appeared to be business as usual, with trucks heading in and out at regular intervals and no police officers visible from the road.
But workers said the tip had been closed Thursday afternoon and part of it remained cordoned off as police continued to search the area.