A 47-year-old father of three who died early today after
being caught between a forklift and cargo in a warehouse at
CentrePort in Wellington was indoors only because of bad
Mike Clark from the Maritime Union said the man was working
inside because rain had forced the team from loading cargo on
a ship outside.
"It's one of those sad occurrences."
Mr Clark said the forklift driver was distraught and had to
be sedated overnight.
"It's devastating for him and his family. We'll be working
closely with the company in forms of grief counselling and
trying to get to the bottom of exactly what happened."
The man who died had worked at the port for nine years and
was part of a small team of permanent staff, Mr Clark said.
"When it's one of your own it's a very difficult time."
The site will be blessed tomorrow before workers return to
finish loading the vessels.
Mr Clark said the union would work with the company on
systems to avoid similar incidents in the future.
Nobody at CentrePort was available for comment.
The Government's labour group, police and CentrePort are
launching separate investigations into the death.
Other incidents at CentrePort:
* May 18, 2012: An argon gas container leaked when it was
damaged by another container being loaded. Emergency services
rushed to the port as the gas could be absorbed into the body
by inhalation, and was a serious suffocation risk in confined
* March 31, 2011: A shipping container, with a car inside,
exploded while being fumigated. There was nothing suspicious
about the blast and nobody was injured.
* May 20, 2003: A worker was critically injured when his leg
was crushed by a shipping container. The man, an employee of
Centreport subsidiary Central Stevedoring, was giving
instructions to a crane operator on board the Pacific Quest
at Aotea Quay when he was struck by the container.