Two Killed in Crane Collapse at Ulsan Container Pier

an aerial view of cranes in a container terminal
Updated Published

Today, the South Korean Ministry of Employment and Labor (MOEL) announced a partial halt to the reinforcement operations at Jeong Il Ulsan Container Terminal following a tragic incident on March 25th.

The accident occurred at approximately 11:11 am local time, when a 65-meter, 610-tonne container crane involved in reinforcement work toppled into the sea. The collapse impacted three mobile structures on site, resulting in the deaths of two workers present on these structures. The victims, employees of a subcontracting firm, were declared deceased after being transported to a hospital.

The stop-work order specifically targets the crane involved in the mishap and two adjacent cranes tasked with transferring containers from the dock to vessels.

Ulsan, situated within South Korea's petrochemical industrial zone, mainly serves the intra-Asia container trade, boasting an annual capacity to handle approximately 1.2 million TEUs.

Following the incident, officials from MOEL, the Korea Coast Guard’s Ulsan branch, and the Korea Occupational Safety & Health Agency conducted a thorough examination of the accident site around 2 pm to gather evidence for their investigation.

The Korea Coast Guard is leading an inquiry into the accident's cause, working alongside the site’s safety management officer. They plan to undertake a joint inspection with the National Forensic Service’s representatives the following week to ascertain if there was a violation of the Serious Accident Punishment Act.

This event is part of a series of fatal industrial accidents in South Korea's shipyards, including those at Hanwha Ocean and HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, highlighting the urgent need for improved safety protocols.