12 Dock Workers, One Firefighter Injured Following Chemical Spill at Port of Long Beach

Twelve dock workers and one firefighter were treated for injuries related to an exposure after a chemical substance leaked from a container ship Sunday morning at the Port of Long Beach.

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Of the 12 longshoremen who suffered minor injuries when they were exposed to the leaked concentrated industrial solvent, 11 were treated and released while one was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries. A firefighter was injured in a fall, but details were not available.

The exposure happened at about 9:45AM at Pier G, Berth 232, where a flammable liquid leaked from a 6,000 gallon tank on the container vessel, Harbour Bridge, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard captain in charge of the Port then set up a safety zone of 150 yards around the ship for assessment and clean-up operations. The Long Beach Fire Department Hazardous Materials team and Patriot Environmental Services cleaned up the spill.

Authorities identified the chemical as propyl acetate, a solvent that in small doses smells of pears and is used as food flavor. In large amounts and concentrated form, however, it can severely irritate eyes, skin and lungs.

City News Service contributed to this report.



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