A dozen dockworkers were exposed to a dangerous concentrated industrial solvent that leaked from a container ship at the Port of Long Beach, authorities said Monday.
One of the responding Long Beach firefighters was injured in a fall, but details were not available. That injured firefighter and one of the dockworkers were taken to a hospital.
The chemical was identified as propyl acetate, a solvent that in small doses smells of pears and is used as a food flavor. But in large amounts and concentrated form, it can severely irritate eyes, skin and lungs.
The exposure occurred about 9:45 a.m. Sunday, 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 spill was cleaned up by the Long Beach Fire Department Hazardous Materials team and Patriot Environmental Services.
There was no word yet of how the spill may have happened.
—City News Service
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