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Oakland dockworker dies in fall from container ship

A dockworker fell to his death from the deck of a container ship at the Port of Oakland early Tuesday morning, port officials said.

The port said the fatal accident in the vicinity of the 1900 block of Middle Harbor Road is under investigation by local authorities, including the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, also known as Cal/OSHA.

The port said the International Longshore and Warehouse Union confirmed that the accident victim was one of its members. ILWU spokesman Craig Merritlees said he doesn’t have any information about the dockworker’s death at this time.

A Cal/OSHA spokesperson wasn’t immediately for comment.

The port said workers including longshoremen are remaining on the job despite shelter-in-place orders during the novel coronavirus crisis because the port has been designated as critical infrastructure.

Longshore workers are hired by marine terminals to load and unload ships and move cargo containers.

According to the port, most marine terminals are closed on Tuesday for the annual holiday observing the death of the late California labor leader Cesar Chavez.

Port of Oakland maritime director John Driscoll said in a statement:

“This is a tragedy that strikes everyone very deeply. … The waterfront is a tightly-knit community and if a member of that community succumbs we all share the grief.”

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