Wednesday the 4th March saw a hazardous shipping container loaded with Trichloroisocyanuric acid go up in flames at Port Metro Vancouver.
Fire crews battled the blaze for over 24 hours, with the fire sending huge plumes of smoke into the air over East Vancouver. This prompted a shelter in place order to all residents off the area, in fear that the toxic smoke would cause illness. Overall, a total of 15 people arrived at hospitals in the Vancouver area with the main complaint being of irritation to the eyes and lungs.
Just before 5pm Thursday (local time) the fire fighters announced that the blaze was extinguished.
“The events of yesterday demonstrated the coordinated response efforts of all agencies involved, something that is rehearsed regularly in training exercises,” the port said in a statement. “We would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to all the first responders along with all partner agencies and our staff who worked tirelessly to control the situation from the moment it occurred right through the evening and overnight, and who continue to manage a coordinated response.”
The port’s Vice President reported that last year 500 shipping containers of the same chemical were shipped via the port. At the time of the fire, another 3 or 4 containers that were holding the exact same chemicals were also on the scene.
Investigations on how the blaze began continue.