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3 treated at hospital

By NALINEE SEELAL Thursday, February 27 2014

Scores of Port Authority employees were evacuated early yesterday after it was discovered that there was a sulphuric acid leakage in one of the containers at the Container terminal.

The work stoppage lasted for close to five hours, and operations resumed only at 7 am yesterday when workers were allowed back into the compound after the area of the suspected leak was cleared by safety officers.

According to reports, shortly after 2 am three workers who were carrying out duties started to complain about a burning sensation in their eyes and nostrils, and it was later discovered that there was a chemical leak, prompting senior officials to make a decision to evacuate the area where the suspected leakage had occurred.

Yesterday, president of the Seamen and Waterfront Workers Trade Union, Michael Anissette, told Newsday three of the employees were treated at hospital for exposure to the sulphuric acid.

He said the container which had sulphuric acid was removed and placed in the shed area where there were no activities taking place.

He also said one of the first safety measures put in place was to wash away the substance from the hatch of the container by a ship’s crew.

He noted, “All is well at this time, however, I have instructed Herbert Constantine, the safety officer of the union, to liaise with the safety department of the port to get a better appreciation of what happened.”

Anissette added that there was no need to call in the Fire Services to assist in cleaning up operations because everything was handled internally.

Yesterday one of the three employees who was discharged from hospital after being exposed to the chemical leakage returned to hospital, after he complained of feeling unwell again.

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