A man has died following what was described as an 'explosion' in a suspected industrial accident in Sunderland today.
Police have confirmed they were called to Prospect Row, at Sunderland Dock at 9.50am.
And, ambulance crews said they dispatched a hazard area response team.
Residents heard 'loud bang' from the Port of Sunderland
A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "The police were made aware that a man had died in a suspected industrial accident on Prospect Row, at Sunderland Docks.
"Enquiries into the circumstances of the incident are ongoing, but the health and safety executive have been informed.
"A cordon is currently in place and there is not believed to be any further risk to the public."
A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive, said: "HSE is aware of the incident and working alongside police, who are in the lead of this investigation."
A spokeswoman for the North East Ambulance Service, said: "We were called at 9.43am to an incident in Prospect Row.
"We sent a hazard area response team, two double-crewed ambulances and an officer. We have now cleared the scene."
Geoff Moon, 55, landlord of the nearby Welcome Tavern for 27 years, said: "Lads thought it was thunder because we've had thunder and lightning in the area, but to me it was much sharper, like an explosion."
A spokesman for Sunderland City Council, said: “We can confirm that a contractor has died following a suspected industrial accident at the Port of Sunderland this morning.
“Everyone at the Port is shocked and deeply saddened by this.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends at this very difficult time.
“The Health and Safety Executive has been informed.
“We will assist Northumbria Police as they work with the company involved to establish what happened.”