Tractor pushes dockworker into lagoon

LAGOS — Another tragedy was recorded, weekend, at the Five-Star Logistics Terminal, Tin Can Island Port, Lagos when a dockworker died in the course of duty.

The deceased, identified as Ahmed Usman, who resided at  10, Seriki Street, Idi Araba in Mushin and hailed from Nasarawa State, died at about 1 a.m,  Saturday. He was a member of the dockworkers branch of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria.

Sources close to the terminal told our correspondent that late Usman was a specialist in forklift at the terminal and that he died while trying to avoid  an  accident while on night shift.

Giving an insight into how he met his tragic end, one of the deceased colleagues, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Usman tried to control the tractor while descending from the vessel at night but unknowingly to him, there was an SUV parked at the outer part of the ramp which he tried to avoid.

”In the process, the tractor reversed straight into the water pushing Umar down the quayside and into the lagoon.”

The source added that the dockworker was working on a ship identified as MV Brilliant Ace which had arrived at the terminal on Thursday, May 23, with both new and used vehicles.

He added that when the accident happened, some dockworkers who were also on night duty witnessed it, but there was nothing they could do because the deceased had already been pushed down before anyone could realise what was happening.

However, he revealed that operational activities at the terminal were halted all through Saturday as dockworkers on duty at the ship side stopped the discharge of vehicles from the said vessel.

He also explained that Usman drowned because of the weight of the safety jacket and the safety boots he had on, adding that they noticed that the deceased struggled against the tide for about 15 minutes, floating on the water before he finally got drowned.

Another  dockworker who spoke on the issue complained that lack of life guards at the quay side led to the death of their colleague. According to him, he struggled for long, but because there was no one to assist him, he finally went down.

Effort made by Vanguard to speak with both the leadership of the union and the management of Five Star Logistics Terminal proved abortive as the President of dockworkers’ branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria; Comrade Adewale Adeyanju did not answer his telephone calls.

A staff of the terminal who was simply identified as Uduak died last month, following an accident at the terminal. Uduak died when the ‘ramp’ of a loader trailer fell on him, crushing him to death instantly.


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