Felixstowe: Post mortem taking place on man who fell from crane

PATHOLOGISTS will today carry out a post mortem on a man who fell to his death from a crane at Britain’s biggest container port.

The man – in his 50s – died after plunging from the crane on to the quayside in what port officials say was an “apparent suicide”.

The incident happened at the Port of Felixstowe’s new �300million extension, which was opened in the autumn by the Princess Royal during the port’s 125th birthday celebrations.

The man was said to be a contract worker and so was allowed to come and go in the secure quayside areas where access is heavily restricted and monitored constantly by CCTV.

Officials will not say which company employed the man, who has not yet been named.

Outside contractors working for various companies are still employed on aspects of the new deepwater berths eight and nine, such as the commissioning of two massive new cranes and ten rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs), which were delivered a few weeks ago.

Although earlier information from the authorities suggested the man had fallen from a ship-to-shore crane, it has now been confirmed that it was one of the RTGs – used to load containers on and off lorries and road tugs – on the quayside

Most Read

Portworkers have been left shocked by the incident, the second death at the port this month.

Paul Davey, head of corporate affairs for Hutchison Ports UK, the owners of the Port of Felixstowe, said: “The man was working at the port as a contractor, one of many people who work at the port for a variety of companies but are not employed by HPUK.

“The man had reason to be there on the quayside and there was no breach of security.”

Mr Davey said it was understood the incident was an “apparent suicide”.

He added: “The port police are liaising over the matter with officers at Suffolk police, who are co-ordinating the investigation.

“They have told us they don’t believe there are any suspicious circumstances.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said the next of kin of the man had been informed about his death on Wednesday evening, just a few hours after he died. He said: “A post mortem is due to be held today and an inquest will then be opened, at which time he will be named.”

It is not yet known whether the Health and Safety Executive will also investigate, but officials may decide to leave the matter to the coroner as it was not a work-related accident.

The new port extension has 22 RTGs. The newest arrived last month and are not yet in use, with testing under way and electrical systems being put in place. They are operated from a cab on a platform around 25 metres high.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter