Inquiry into death

THE Fiji Sugar Corporation (FSC) is conducting an internal inquiry into the death of a man, who was allegedly crushed by a locomotive.

The incident happened in Labasa Town last Friday.

The victim, Saula Matei, was sleeping on the rail tracks near a service station opposite the ANZ Bank.

A statement from the FSC confirmed that the incident happened about 4:45am.

FSC’s chief executive officer Graham Clark said Locomotive No 11 was travelling from the Labasa mill to Vunimoli sector carrying empty rail trucks.

“The loco horn was on as usual when approaching a bridge,” he said.

“The victim was sleeping on the rail tracks on the town end of the bridge. The loco had crossed the bridge with a few trucks when the driver noticed the person sleeping on the tracks a few metres from the bridge end.

“The brake was applied but the loco could not be brought to a complete stop.”

Mr Clark said the loco unavoidably crushed the victim, who passed away at the scene.

“The rail pointsman rushed to the nearby police post to report the matter,” he said.

“The deceased was removed by the police. The pointsman and the loco driver were interrogated by the police and a full police investigation is underway.”

Mr Clark said an internal FSC inquiry had also started.

“FSC will examine all operating procedures in order to identify all mitigating actions for future operations.

“FSC passes its sincere condolences to the accident victim’s family,” he said.

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