Deadly Bayport Container Terminal Crane Accident Kills Worker
A worker at the Bayport Container Terminal was killed in an incident involving a crane before dawn on Friday morning. Although the investigation into his death has only begun, the terminal worker appears to have been crushed or otherwise fatally injured in a vehicle he operated during the process of loading a container onto a ship. The victim has not been identified pending notification of his family members.
The man was operating a specialized truck known as a “mule.” In the shipping container industry, a mule is designed to transport containers from stowage in a yard towards a ship for loading. When at the ship, containers are then lifted on board via a crane.
On Friday morning, the man driving the loaded mule arrived shipside. The crane engaged and was intended to remove the container from the rear of the mule and load it onboard the waiting ship. Somehow, the entire truck was lifted off the ground and the container on the vehicle didn’t detach.
According to the Port of Houston Authority, as the entire truck (including the driver) lofted into the air, it sustained severe damage. Television news videos show that significant damage was sustained to the body of the vehicle, including the passenger compartment. Windows were also broken out and extensive debris scattered underneath the dangling truck.
Specific information about how the worker was killed is not confirmed. There is reasonable speculation that the man may have somehow been crushed in some manner as the vehicle was inappropriately carried upward by the crane.
Police and emergency personnel were immediately dispatched to the scene. The worker was declared dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported as a result of the Bayport Container Terminal crane accident.
In addition to the Houston Police Department, other agencies are expected to be involved in the investigation f the Bayport Container Terminal crane accident. Those other agencies have yet to be identified. Port Authority officials have said little else about the incident other than to volunteer that the chain of events that resulted in the worker’s death is “bizarre.”
The Bayport facility is one of two container terminals serving the Port of Houston. It is classified as a major deep-water terminal along the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to commercial shipping, cruise ships utilized the Bayport Terminal for a very short time. Between 2013 and 2014 two major cruise lines docked at the facility but have since abandoned the practice. Only commercial cargo vessels use the Bayport facility today.
Opened in 2007, the Bayport Container Terminal was built because the existing Barbours Cut Terminal was to capacity and there was no room to expand that existing facility. The Bayport Terminal is situated off Galveston Bay along the Bayport Ship Channel. It is located between LaPorte and Seabrook, Texas. The facility is directly adjacent to the Bayport Industrial District, a sprawling complex that is home to numerous firms in the petroleum and petrochemical processing industry.
Historically, more fatal crane accidents occur in the state of Texas than anywhere else in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most common cause of fatal crane injuries in Texas and across the United States involves a person being struck by the equipment itself or by an object falling from a crane. These types of incidents account for over 60% of all fatal crane accidents. Falls from cranes are the second leading cause of fatal crane accidents, at 20% of all incidents in Texas and elsewhere in the country. The balance of fatal crane accidents involves what are described as transportation incidents or contact between the crane itself and an electrical current.
If you’ve been injured in a crane accident, or if you’ve lost a loved one in a fatal crane accident, a Doan Law Firm crane accident lawyer is available to discuss your case. Our legal team is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, at (832) 835-0000. We can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with a crane accident lawyer at your convenience. There is no charge for an initial consultation. We also charge no fee unless we win for you.
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