OOCL guilty over Allan

Hong Kong's OOCL has been found guilty of involuntary manslaughter 11 years after a top executive plunged to his death in a boxship lift-shaft.

The company has been fined EUR 50,000 ($68,000) in a French court following the death of Courtenay Allan in Le Havre in 2003, the Hong Kong Standard reported.

Allan, 53, from England, was killed when he fell on the 4,402-teu Daewoo-built OOCL Montreal (built 2003) at a reception in Le Havre during its maiden voyage.

The Hong Kong company’s transatlantic trades director plunged 60 feet from the bridge when he stepped through elevator doors that had opened before the lift car had arrived.

The lift malfunction has not been properly explained, but a British coroner said it was possible human modifications could have been to blame.

OOCL has 10 days to appeal.

A spokesman said the company believes closure "would be in the best interests of all concerned."