A man operating a backhoe at a salt-storage facility in Bucks County was killed Thursday when a huge pile of road salt collapsed on him, police said.

The incident occurred at the Kinder Morgan Port of Bucks County, which serves oceangoing vessels on the Delaware River, Falls Township police said. Police said the man apparently suffocated.

John Hambrose, a spokesman for Waste Management of Eastern Pennsylvania, said the company owns the dock where the accident occurred. The dock is leased to International Salt, Hambrose said, which provides road salt to much of the area.

Mary Kay Warner, marketing manager for International Salt, said Thursday night that employees were "obviously deeply saddened" and that the company was cooperating with investigators to determine what happened.

Police said the man's name was not being released at this time. - Ben Finley and Chris Palmer