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St. Pete man dead after pipes fall on ship at Port of Tampa

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 06:50 PM

A St. Petersburg man is dead and a co-worker was badly hurt after a load of steel pipes fell on them onboard a ship in the Port of Tampa Tuesday afternoon.

Hercules Gilmore, 56, 4645 3rd Ave. S., was killed in the accident, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.

Andre Futrell, 50, 1424 Estelle St., Tampa, suffered non-life threatening injuries and is being treated at Tampa General Hospital. Two other men were not injured. OSHA has been notified.

Tampa Fire Rescue Special Operations Chief Emilio Salavarria said fire rescue units were dispatched about 4 p.m. to 2150 Guy N. Verger Blvd., Berth 201, where the Uniocean ship Honesty Ocean, was docked.

Gilmore, Futrell and two other men working as stevedores for the International Longshoreman's Association were at the bottom of the ship's cargo bundling 4-inch steel pipes for a crane to lift them from the cargo hold when a strap on the bundle broke causing the pipes to crash down upon all four men, the sheriff's office said.

Salavarria said crews were moving the pipes in 1-ton bundles at the time.

"They were moving about 10 [bundles] at a time when the straps gave way and dropped that bundle onto the deck of the ship, on to the dock and back inside the hull of the ship where the workers were working to bundle the material to have it removed from the ship itself," Salavarria said.

"The pipes that came back crashing down into the cargo hole came down at many different angles and many different sides ... causing a very unstable and uneven platform for our emergency workers to work in in order to reach those two that were trapped," he said.

The Honesty Ocean, which came from Houston on this trip, is registered out of Panama and was built in 1997, according to MarineTraffic.com.


News Channel 8 reporter Josh Green contributed to this report.

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