12 dockworkers hurt in spill
Twelve dockworkers suffered minor injuries Sunday morning when a container of flammable liquid began to leak at the Port of Long Beach, officials said.
One worker exposed to the fumes and a firefighter who fell while responding to the spill were transported to a hospital, according to the Long Beach Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard. Both sustained minor injuries and were in stable condition Sunday afternoon.
Workers who were exposed to the leaking chemical, identified as propyl acetate, experienced shortness of breath, said Davonte Marrow, a spokesman for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The Long Beach Fire Department received the 911 call about 9:30 a.m., said Brian Fisk, a spokesman for the agency. An engine company was dispatched to Pier G, a 29-acre container terminal south of the Queen Mary, where it found the hazardous material coming from a roughly 6,000-gallon chemical tank on a docked container ship.
A hazardous materials unit, a search-and-rescue unit and paramedics were dispatched to the scene. Two Long Beach fire boats and one of the city’s lifeguard rescue boats deployed a 1,000-foot boom alongside the docked ship as a precautionary measure against environmental damage, Fisk said.
With the help of port workers and crane operators, the container was removed from the ship.
A Coast Guard captain set up a safety zone 150 yards around the ship while crews removed the chemical from the water. Officials expected to finish cleaning up by Sunday evening, Marrow said.
Officials did not know what caused the leak.
LONG BEACH firefighters board a docked container ship at the Port of Long Beach in response to a leak of propyl acetate, a f lammable chemical. Crane operators helped remove the leaking tank from the ship.