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July 18, 2019 1:40am
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Port Workers Halt Work Over Death Of Colleague In Benicia

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OAKLAND (BCN)

Dockworkers have halted work today at the Port of Oakland following the death of a colleague working on a ship docked in Benicia on Wednesday afternoon, a union spokesman said.

Thomas Hoover, 56, apparently collapsed while on the job at the Port of Benicia, International Longshore and Warehouse Union spokesman Craig Merrilees said.

Hoover was rushed from the Port of Benicia by ambulance to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Vallejo, where he later died, Solano County coroner's officials said.

The coroner's office was notified of the death at 4:38 p.m. but no autopsy is planned since it appears Hoover suffered an asthma attack or cardiac arrest and his death was due to natural causes, according to the coroner's office.

Regardless, all worker deaths are treated as workplace fatalities and subject to investigation and workers routinely stop work for 24 hours without pay following an on-the-job fatality, according to Merrilees.

Hoover was a member of ILWU Local 10, Merrilees said.

"Deaths do occur more frequently than anyone would like. This one may or may not be related to safety issues on the job, that won't be known until the investigation is complete," Merrilees said.

Operations at the port are expected to resume Friday morning.
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