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‘Faulty’ top loader kills dockworker in LA

A dockworker died yesterday morning and another suffered severe injuries in an accident involving a top loader container handler at Pier 300 in the Port of Los Angeles.

According to local reports, the incident happened Wednesday morning when two mechanics were reinflating the huge tire of a top-loader, a heavy equipment used for moving materials and shipping containers, and the tire exploded. The wheels of the top handler are approximately 5 to 6 feet in diameter.

“My heart goes out to the families of the victims of this tragic accident and to all the brothers and sisters of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union,” said Port of Los Angeles executive director Gene Seroka. “It’s particularly tragic that this accident occurred on the day of the ILWU’s annual ‘First Blood’ event, which honours those who have lost their lives working on the waterfront.”

Rachel Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Port Police, said the top loader was “faulty”. Investigations into the accident continue.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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