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Port of Tacoma terminals reopen after Tuesday shutdown prompted by fatal accident

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on March 13, 2013 at 4:25 pm with No Comments »
March 13, 2013 4:25 pm

The Port of Tacoma’s terminals were once again humming Wednesday morning after a sudden closure Tuesday afternoon when a veteran longshore worker was killed in an industrial accident.

Jeff Surber, a 7-year “A” member of Longshore Local 23, died in an accident atop a container crane at the port’s Pierce County Terminal shortly after noon Tuesday.

Surber, who worked for Pacific Crane Maintenance, was adjusting the cables on the towering crane when he was fatally injured.

Union members immediately halted work as is their custom when such a fatally occurs.

Services for Surber of Bonney Lake have not yet been announced. The longshore mechanic would have celebrated his 47th birthday Wednesday. He was married with a 19-year-old child.

Investigations by Surber’s employer, the union and the State Department of Labor and Industry have already begun. Those investigations are aimed at discovering what went wrong and how a similar tragedy could be prevented.


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