Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A 52-year-old worker crushed to death at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia after a co-worker operating a top-loader dropped a shipping container fell on his pickup truck

Monday, July 10, 2017 06:38PM

A man is dead after a cargo container fell on his pickup truck at the Packer Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia, police say.

The incident happened the terminal in the 3300 block of South Columbus Boulevard shortly after 12:30 p.m. Monday.

According to Port Authority officials, it appears what's called a top pick or top reacher, a piece of equipment that lifts the large shipping containers, knocked a stack of them accidentally.

Officials say one of the shipping containers came down on top of a small white pickup truck with a 52-year-old male employee inside. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ray, a longshoreman who declined to give his last name, said he worked alongside the man who died.

"I knew the gentleman and he was a very good friend of mine. Coming to work every day. Seeing him. So some guys had different reactions. I had my moment. I am gathering myself a little bit now and then probably it will come and go, cause I won't see him no more," Ray said.

Ray told Action News the victim was worked as a checker, someone who makes the rounds at the terminal counting containers and monitoring operations underway.

In the aftermath, OSHA, police, and fire responded to the scene. Trucks were turned away at the gate.

Ray says he is also worried about the man who operated the equipment that knocked over the storage container that crushed his coworker.

"I knew the operator, too. And I was told he started throwing up. I know him personally. Family guy, cares about people. I don't know how you recover from something like this," Ray said.

The pier closed immediately after the accident. It will reopen for operations Tuesday at 7 a.m.


A 52-year-old man died in South Philadelphia on Monday afternoon after a shipping container fell on his truck, according to police.

The incident happened at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal, police said. Authorities did not identify the victim, but said he was pronounced dead at 12:35 p.m.

Kevin Feeley, spokesman for Greenwich Terminals LLC, said the accident took place on the Publicker portion of the Packer site, a lot where containers are sometimes taken after being offloaded.

Feeley declined to identify the victim pending family notification, but said he “was a valued 20-year employee at the terminal.”

Greg Iannarelli, chief counsel for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, said preliminary indications were that a top pick — a piece of machinery used to move containers — knocked a container from the top of a stack, causing it to fall onto the truck.

Feeley said the company was cooperating with police and federal safety officials investigating the incident.

Images from TV news helicopters showed a white pickup truck with a smashed roof sitting next to several containers.

The terminal describes itself as the largest container terminal on the Delaware River, with six berths that typically handle steel products, frozen meat, fruits, and other cargo.

New shipping services there helped boost the amount of containerized freight the Philadelphia port handled in April compared with a year earlier. And the port recently was chosen to go through its first major renovation in decades, with $300 million from the Wolf administration expected to be used to repair berths, add cranes, and double cargo handling space.

In 2011, a longshoreman, Charles DiRago, 54, died at the terminal when a tractor accidentally backed into him.

Packer Avenue Marine Terminal

The Packer Avenue Marine Terminal is the premier container handling facility on the Delaware River and also works large volumes of automobiles, steel and project cargoes. Immediate access to two major rail yards and interstate highways ensure excellent – and fast – inland connections for PAMT’s customers. On-dock refrigeration is available.


Greenwich Terminals, LLC
(215) 551-2600


Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
(215) 426-2600


3301 S. Columbus Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Delaware River at Packer Avenue –
South of Oregon Avenue

Pier Entrances: Container Gate/North Gate
Breakbulk Gate/South Gate— South of Walt Whitman Bridge on Access Road