Five shipyard employees were sent to hospital after being exposed to an “unknown substance” at the container terminal in Prince Rupert, B.C.
The spill happened approximately 11:30 a.m., July 11, at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal.
The employees were working in a specific area of the container yard when they were exposed to the “unknown substance with a garlic odour,” according to the B.C. spill incident report.
In an earlier report from DP World, the terminal operator, stated that four employees were then sent to hospital with symptoms of respiratory irritation.
The condition of the employees is currently unknown, in the update from the province on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. The container terminal was shut down and evacuated yesterday and reopened this morning after a hazardous materials team from Vancouver assessed the situation.
Site assessment ran from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. when the team determined there were no more impacts from the spill. The site was re-assessed in the morning. The hazardous materials team didn’t find anything on their sensors.
“Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our employees, the local community, and any others who may have been affected,” Kirkham said in an emailed statement on Wednesday night.
This is the third incident involving DP World employees being sent to the hospital with respiratory irritation in the past year. The previous incident on Dec. 21 was attributed to Butyl Acetate, a chemical used for synthetic fruit flavouring.
The source of the spill remains unknown at this time.