Coroner identifies man killed in shipyard accident - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Coroner identifies man killed in shipyard accident

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PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) -

At 66, Lee Thibodeaux should be planning his retirement. Instead, his loved ones are now planning a funeral. Thibodeaux died Monday morning around 11am in a tragic accident at VT Halter Marine's Pascagoula shipyard.

"The shipyard was very somber this afternoon," one shipyard worker wrote to WLOX. "Mr. Thibodeaux was a well known and well liked employee of the company and the loss of him has spread through every department at Halter. It was a tragic and violent accident that many of his co-workers witnessed and will be dealing with for a long time."

VT Halter CEO Bill Skinner told WLOX News the victim was a sandblaster by craft and the accident was related to his work, though the man was not working on a vessel at the time.

"Our hearts go out to the family. We are assisting family as we can," Skinner said. "We are cooperating with the government on the investigation. Safety is the single most important thing we put into our organization. Our employees are our greatest asset and we certainly care for their safety."

In November 2009, two VT Halter workers died in an explosion at the company's Escatawpa facility. Four other employees were injured. In that case, OSHA fined VT Halter more than $1.3 million for various safety violations.

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