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Investigation in Chile after shiploader collapse

Authorities in Chile are looking into what caused the dramatic collapse of a fixed mechanical dry bulk shiploader at the Port of Patillos.

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After this photo was taken, the buckled part of the structure collapsed into the sea
After this photo was taken, the buckled part of the structure collapsed into the sea

The incident at the port, which is to be found to the south of the city of Iquique, initially left workers trapped and at least one person slightly injured.


The collapse occurred during a K+S Chile SA operation involving the loading of salt onto a dry bulk vessel, LEONIDAS, onto which much of the metal work landed.


The cause of the accident does not appear to have been a ship collision, as the support structure in the water did not appear to be damaged or twisted. It may have been a cable stay failure, which caused the middle part of the structure to break. Following that, as the front part of the structure pivoted up and down with the ship motions, the buckled middle part broke off and collapsed into the sea.


In November 2018, an incident occurred at the Port of Guacolda, in the Huasco district in Chile, when a fixed shiploader also collapsed, causing the death of a worker. The cause was identified as a cable stay failure.


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