A mechanic doing maintenance work on a trolley cable at the Port of Oakland died Wednesday morning after he got caught in a piece of crane equipment and suffered "crushing injuries."
Oakland firefighters, the first to respond to the 10:30 a.m. fatal accident at Berth 37, said the 51-year-old Ports America worker was taken to the hospital. He died shortly afterward and Summit Medical Center, according to port officials.
According to Peter Melton, a spokesman for California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, the man suffered from serious head and chest injuries. He was a member of the International Association of Machinist and Aeropace Workers.
The death marks at least the second serious accident at the Port of Oakland in the last five years, Cal-OSHA records show. A worker from Ports America was run over last year by a container lift and lost both legs.
A longshoreman told NBC Bay Area that the worker was up on the crane about 250 feet when the trolley moved, and he was crushed between the cable and the body of the crane.
The longshoreman, who asked that his name not be used, said he heard the man's partner on the radio yelling, "Call 911! Call 911! He's bleeding really bad."
The accident made everyone at work very somber. "We took a step back and thought about how dangerous the job on the waterfront is and how precious life is," the longshoreman said.
Melton said that a Cal-OSHA inspector should be on the scene for most of the afternoon. Oakland police are also investigating.