AN inquest into the death of a Sunderland dock worker was due to begin today.
Jason Burden was killed when a piece of metal machinery, weighing almost a tonne, fell on him as he worked at South Docks in December 2011.
The 19-year-old was pronounced dead at hospital, despite colleagues and emergency services desperately trying to help him at the scene.
Jason, who was an apprentice engineer for Tyne Slipway and Engineering, was working on a piece of equipment called a thruster when the tragedy happened.
Tyne Slipway and Engineering was fined £75,000 and ordered to pay £47,936 costs at Newcastle Crown Court after admitting a breach of health and safety regulations in January this year.
Last month, Jason’s family paid tribute to him on Workers’ Memorial Day.
His dad, Trevor, said: “Jason was the perfect son in every way. He was hard-working, intelligent and dedicated, and he was just six months shy of completing his Btec qualification. We couldn’t have been more proud.
“Jason really was the most loving, caring and funny lad anybody could ever wish to meet. He had so much going for him, and it was all taken away from him in one terrible and totally avoidable moment.”
The inquest, due to last two days, was set to start at Sunderland Coroner’s Court this morning.