70-year-old dock worker falls, dies working onboard vessel

A 70-year-old seaport worker, Mr Ganiyu Aderibigbe, died on Tuesday while working onboard a vessel named MV COSCO NAGOYA at the Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) inside the Tin-Can Island Port in Lagos.

This is even as another dockworker, Christopher Madagbu who is in his early 40s is currently hospitalised after suffering injuries in the same accident onboard the same vessel.

Explaining how the aged dockworker met his end, “President of the Dockworkers branch of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Adewale Adeyanju stated that the two men fell inside a hole onboard the MV COSCO NAGOYA while working on the vessel.

According to him, “The two men fell inside what we call a manhole onboard the MV COSCO NAGOYA last Thursday at about 10:30 p.m. They were later rushed to a hospital were Aderibigbe later died on Tuesday and was buried same day according to Muslim rites. Doctors are still battling to save the life of Christopher Madagbu as I speak to you.”

On what caused the accident, Adeyanju explained that, “there was no light onboard the vessel. There is what we call cargo light. It is always put on onboard vessels when work is ongoing. However, when the two men were going onboard MV COSCO NAGOYA to commence their operations, the cargo light was not on; thus both men fell inside the manhole onboard the vessel.

“It was Madagbu that first fell inside the manhole. When he was shouting for help, Aderibigbe heard his voice and was apparently coming to help but also fell inside the same manhole.”

On who to blame for the safety lapse, the MWUN top-shot stated that, “the terminal operator, the stevedoring company and the vessel owners are all to blame. The terminal operator is TICT, the stevedoring company is TSE Stevedoring Nigeria Limited and the vessel is MV COSCO NAGOYA. They are all to blame because the cargo light ought to be on.

“Secondly, what is a 70years old man doing inside the port onboard a vessel? There are so many young men looking for jobs, why go for an aged man?

“TICT should be blamed more for allowing aged men to work inside its terminal. We have written to the terminal operators severally not to allow aged people to work inside their terminals.”