Three Dockworkers Killed While Unloading Coal at Port of Antwerp

MV Saga Frontier. Photo: Saga Welco
MV Saga Frontier. Photo: Saga Welco

Three dockworkers were killed last Saturday at the Port of Antwerp after unloading coal from an open hatch cargo ship.

The three workers were reported to have suffocated when they entered the open cargo hold of the Hong Kong-flagged MV Saga Frontier to clean it. The three killed were all said to be experienced dockworkers.

Local media reported Thursday that investigators are looking into the possibility of negligence on behalf of the Captain and crew for not alerting the dockworkers to the presence of toxic gases in the hold.

A statement by International Transport Workers’ Federation President and chair, Paddy Crumlin, said “We can never relax on port safety and accident prevention. Antwerp is a port where health and safety is taken very seriously, and, like the three men’s trade unions, we are confident that a full investigation will take place into what happened and how any resulting lessons can be implemented.”

The 46,550 DWT MV Saga Frontier was built in 2007 and has a total of ten cargo holds with two traveling gantry cranes. The ship is owned by Saga Welco with head offices in Norway.

The ship was still docked at Antwerp as of Thursday night.