A large tank leaked a few hundred gallons of a flammable liquid overnight at the Port of Long Beach, prompting a major shipping terminal to shut down Friday, according to authorities.
The leak started around 12:30 a.m. in the 300 block of Mediterranean Way at Pier T, which is home to Total Terminals International, according to port and fire officials.
By the time fire crews arrived, more than 100 gallons of the liquid had leaked from the tank, Long Beach Fire Department spokesman Jake Heflin said.
Crews were at the scene for hours trying to find a way to drain the tank or seal a damaged valve that caused the spill.
“We were struggling to stop the leak,” Heflin said.
Ultimately, they set up a system to catch and contain the liquid, authorities said. Heflin estimated between 200 and 300 gallons seeped out of the tank, but crews kept it from getting into the water or any storm drains.
Hazmat teams from the fire department and a private company hired by the port were still at the terminal Friday morning working on removing the damaged tank, said Kerry Gerot, director of communications and community relations at the port.
“The terminal is closed for the day. All truck traffic and the employees are being kept out and have been sent home,” Gerot said.
The liquid is a chemical used in resins, inks and adhesives, according to Gerot.
About 10 people who were near the spill complained of dizziness and shortness of breath, but none of them had to be hospitalized, according to authorities.
Gerot said there’s no estimate at this point when the terminal will reopen.