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A PORT worker was killed on Monday (25 April) at Lyttelton Port of Christchurch.

LPC acting CEO Kirstie Gardener confirmed that the incident occurred onboard the bulker ETG Aquarius while it was loading coal.

“I wish to express my deep sadness and condolences to both the family of our team member and to the rest of the LPC team,” she said.

“Our focus right now is on supporting our staff and the family of our LPC team member at this tragic time. We have support in place for staff and their families, both onsite and available by phone 24/7. This will remain in place for as long as necessary.”

Ms Gardener said investigations into how the accident happened are now underway, being conducted by Police, Maritime NZ, and LPC.

“LPC will be co-operating fully with all these investigations,” she said.

“While these investigations are underway, we will be making no further comments regarding details of the accident.”

Ms Gardener said container operations at the port ceased overnight but were resumed at 0700 hours this morning (26 April).

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Maritime Union of New Zealand national secretary Craig Harrison said the death was the tragic loss of life of another worker, and it has “shaken” the maritime industry.

He said workmates of the man, who was a MUNZ member, will be devastated by the death and the union would offer support to workers and the man’s family.

Mr Harrison said the death has hit workers in the industry hard, as it follows from the workplace death of a young worker Atiroa Tuaiti at the Ports of Auckland last week.

He said port unions are calling for national standards in the port industry and would be campaigning hard to improve health and safety in ports.

“These deaths and serious injuries in the port industry should not be happening, and the controls and processes and culture need to be fixed through national standards,” Mr Harrison said.

New Zealand Police confirmed that one person has died following an incident in Lyttelton on Monday. They said emergency services were called to a vessel at Cashin Quay shortly before 0930 and Maritime New Zealand has been notified.

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