Posted on November 14, 2018 by Ilias Kiritsis
Two dock workers died from poisoning while onboard the Panama-flagged general cargo ship, American Bulker, early in the morning of November 13th.
The vessel was carrying a cargo of lumber from Argentina to Uruguay and was docked at the port of Montevideo when the incident occurred.
According to official sources, two Uruguayan dockers, aged 23 and 27, had entered the ship’s cargo hold in order to assist in offloading operations.
Allegedly, they were never informed that the timber had been chemically treated, and thus upon entering the hold, lost consciousness and collapsed.
A Filipino crew member who witnessed the pair entering the hold, equipped a gas mask and attempted to rescue the two dock workers. During the attempt, he removed his gas mask, and as a result, also succumbed to the effects of the fumigant.
A third dock worker was also affected by the conditions in the hold.
All four were rushed to the hospital, but the two stevedores in question did not survive. The Filipino crew member has been hospitalised and is currently in an induced coma while the third stevedore is receiving medical care and is expected to recover.
This is only the latest story in a series of casualties that are the result of improper confined-space entries aboard shipping vessels.
We reported a story yesterday, on an accident that took place on a timber-carrying Japanese MV, that led to the deaths of 3 crewmen.
We urge every seafarer that operates under such conditions to make sure and take all the necessary precautions before engaging in potentially hazardous activities.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic