Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Longshore Worker Killed in Anchorage

By Mark Edward Nero

A longshoreman working to load military equipment into rail cars from a Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) ship was killed after being accidentally pinned between two pieces of military equipment, the Port of Anchorage has revealed.

Port officials said in a prepared statement that Charlie Tom “WD” James Jr., 64, died immediately when he was trapped between two vehicles at 9:14 am on March 13 while military equipment was being loaded onto flat-deck railcars headed for Fairbanks, Alaska.

The victim was killed instantly, according to the port.

In a statement released the day of the accident, TOTE said the man had been employed by contractor Sea Star Stevedoring.

“Totem Ocean will continue to keep the victim’s family in our thoughts and prayers and would ask that the Anchorage community do the same,” the statement read in part.

James was veteran of the US Army and had retired from the Anchorage Fire Department in 2014 after 34 years of service. He had worked as a longshoreman for more than a decade, according to port officials.

This month’s death was the fourth at the Port of Anchorage in four years.

In June 2012, a California man stole a taxi, drove through port security and jumped to his death from a fuel tank. A month later, a security guard drove a truck off the dock. And in August 2011, a construction worker was killed when the ground collapsed beneath his bulldozer while working on a major port expansion project.

The latest death is currently being investigated by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.