According to an initial investigation, the two dockers died while offloading from the bulker, which is believed to be the 'American Bulker'. In addition, two others were hospitalized.

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Sources report that the two men were exposed to fumigants, while the authorities are further investigating to determine the cause of the exposure.

What is more, a crew member saw the two dockers and tried to help them. During his attempt he removed the mask and lost consciousness as well. He is now in hospital receiving medical care, along with another stevedore who is also treated.

According to the president of an Uruguayan transport union, Cesar Bernal, the stevedores were not aware that a large amount of the ship's cargo of timber had been treated with a fumigant.