Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Public safety

Steel pipes fall on ship at Port of Tampa, killing St. Petersburg man

TAMPA — A strap holding together a bundle of steel pipes snapped as it was being lifted off a ship Tuesday afternoon, causing the pipes to fall on four stevedores, killing one.

Hercules Gilmore, 56, of St. Petersburg died in the accident aboard Honesty Ocean while it was docked at the Port of Tampa, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Another man, whose name was not released, suffered what rescuers called nonlife-threatening injuries and was being treated at Tampa General Hospital. The other two men, whose names also were not released, were not hospitalized.

According to the Sheriff's Office, the men were stevedores for the International Longshoremen's Association and were bundling the pipes together so a crane could lift them from the ship's cargo hold.

But during a lift, a strap broke, causing the steel to come crashing down on the men.

Tampa Fire Rescue had received a call for help at 3:56 p.m. The agency dispatched a rescue team to the scene, at 2150 Guy N. Verger Blvd., Berth 201.

The bulk carrier, which has a large sign painted on its cargo doors saying "Safety First," left Sunday from the Port of Houston and arrived Tuesday in Tampa.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified of the accident, the Sheriff's Office said.

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