62yo crushed to death by pipe was ‘long-time employee’
A MAN has been crushed to death by a large steel pipe at a Townsville workplace in what has been described as a tragic incident just 10 days out from Christmas.
The man, 62, was believed to be unloading steel pipes from a truck at CASA Engineering on Enterprise St at Bohle when one fell and pinned him, about 10.15am Friday.
Police said nearby workers used a forklift to try and free the man before paramedics arrived, but he could not be saved.
Townsville Police duty district officer Senior Sergeant Scot Warrick said officers were told the pipes weighed about 1900kg, and were understood to be about 15 metres long.
Workers of the company were said to be distraught yesterday and counselling had been offered.
"It's a really awful situation obviously, leading up to the Christmas holidays. It's shattering for the people there," Snr Sgt Warrick said.
CASA last night declined to comment on the incident, though confirmed the man was a long-time employee of the company.
Housing and Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni said the State Government and all its relevant agencies were focused on responding to and investigating the incident.
"At this stage it is unclear whether or not the incident was connected to the North Queensland Stadium, however I am advised the employer is a subcontractor on the project," he said.
"My thoughts are with the worker's family and his workmates at this time."
CASA Engineering was awarded the tender for structural steel for the north, south and east stands of the Stadium in May.
CASA representatives were last night flying from Brisbane to Townsville.
An investigation has been launched by Forensic Crash Unit and Workplace Health and Safety.
"We will be looking at all the avenues, on the loading, the storing, the securing and whether the forklift had anything to do with it as well," Snr Sgt Warrick said.
"For reasons under investigation the steel piping has moved suddenly on the vehicle.
"It's fallen off and has struck the male person. A forklift was being used at the time."
A Workplace Health and Safety spokesman yesterday confirmed an investigation was underway.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.