DP World suspended operations at Fairview Container Terminal after two employees were sent to the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital with symptoms of respiratory irritation.
The incident occurred at approximately 9:45 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21, leading to a complete evacuation of the site.
DP World, the terminal operator, said the source of the hazmat incident was an improperly secured ventilation hatch on a tank containing Butyl Acetate, a chemical used for synthetic fruit food flavouring. An external industrial hygienist located the source after conducting an on-site assessment for air quality monitoring.
“Thankfully they [the employees] have been discharged within hours of their arrival. We continue to check on their well-being,” said the statement provided by Angela Kirkham, communications for DP World.
The site was declared safe at 8 p.m. the same day, and DP World said there was no inhalation hazard to the community.
This is the second incident involving DP World employees being sent to the hospital with respiratory irritation in the past five months. On Sept. 3, 11 employees were sent to the hospital and operations were halted at the container terminal. An external industrial hygienist was sent to the scene, and declared there was no hazard to the community.
Operations at Fairview Container Terminal returned to normal at 7 a.m. Friday morning.