Man crushed - 'Something has gone horribly wrong'

By Ruth Keber

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The site where a man was killed after becoming trapped between a truck and a container. Photo/John Borren
The site where a man was killed after becoming trapped between a truck and a container. Photo/John Borren

A man was killed after he was crushed between a truck trailer and a shipping container.

The incident happened just after 12pm on Totara St in Mount Maunganui yesterday on land owned by the Port of Tauranga but leased to Coda Operations LP.

The fire service was first to the scene and were quickly followed by ambulance, police, WorkSafe and representatives of the dead man's employer, Priority Logistics.

Mount Maunganui Fire Station officer Roger Pickett said fire crews checked the man's vital signs when they first arrived at the scene but were unable to detect any sign of life.

TRAGEDY: The scene where a man was crushed between a shipping container and a truck yesterday on Totara St, Mount Maunganui.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN
TRAGEDY: The scene where a man was crushed between a shipping container and a truck yesterday on Totara St, Mount Maunganui.PHOTO/JOHN BORREN

Mr Pickett said the driver had climbed out of the cab of the truck to offload a shipping container. He was in the correct position to unload the trailer, he said.

"They have a remote control that controls the arms of the side lifter, he was in the correct position for off-loading it, but something has gone horribly wrong."

Mr Pickett said the trailer unit of the truck had tipped somehow and the man had become pinned between the truck trailer and a separate container on the ground.

Read more: Family's narrow escape from highway inferno

A contractor spraying weeds on the piece of land at the southern end of Totara St had made the call to emergency services, he said.

He was the only other person in the yard.

The man's body was still at the scene yesterday afternoon while investigators started their investigation, he said.

Scott Brownlee, chief executive of Coda Operations LP who own Priority Logistics, said everybody at the company was deeply saddened by the tragic event.

Mr Brownlee said many of the company's staff had been affected by the incident and their sympathies were extended to the family and friends of the truck driver.

"We have yet to determine the full details of the tragic accident. We will be giving our full co-operation to WorkSafe as we work to find out what has caused this devastating event to occur," he said.

We will be giving our full co-operation to WorkSafe as we work to find out what has caused this devastating event to occur.
Scott Brownlee

A spokesperson for WorkSafe New Zealand said in a written statement that WorkSafe had been advised of the incident and an investigation had started.

"The initial notification to WorkSafe advised that a worker has been crushed between a truck and a container in Mount Maunganui. We were subsequently advised that the worker had passed away. This information is from the initial notification to us and may not reflect the actual circumstances which will not be clear until the investigation is completed."

WorkSafe could not provide further comment until the investigation had been completed, it read.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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