One person killed, one injured by falling pipes on cargo ship in Tampa port

10:46 PM, Oct 23, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- Authorities have identified the man killed in an industrial accident aboard a ship moored in the Port of Tampa.

Hercules Gilmore, 56, of St. Petersburg was killed when fallen pipes crashed down on him and three other men working inside the ship.

A second man who was hurt has not been identified yet.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said the two men and two other stevedores (someone who loads and unloads ships in port) for the International Longshoreman's Association were at the bottom of a cargo hold of the ship Honesty Ocean bundling steel pipes for a crane to lift them from the cargo hold. A strap on the bundle broke, causing the pipes to crash down on all four.

Emilio Salabarria, the special operations chief for Tampa's Fire Rescue Department, said the workers were trapped inside the hull of the cargo ship, but several of them were able to free themselves.

Chief Salabarria said the steel pipes were four inches in diameter and about 30 feet long. They were in bundles of 10 tons. He added, "The 10 tons of cargo fell, landing on the dock and the deck of the ship, and landing back in the cargo hold where the workers were."

Gilmore died at the scene. Salabarria said of the second injured patient, "Paramedics also went down in the cargo hold and were able to administer some pain relief by IV to ease the tension and suffering of the patient."

The injured man who hasn't been identified was flown to Tampa General Hospital for treatment. Two other men were not hurt.

The sheriff's office said OSHA is now investigating.

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