Container vessel finishes cleaning up chemical substance

     On September 18, a container vessel which was sailing to Hong Kong reported to the Marine Department outside Hong Kong waters that its crew on September 17 had found about 150 litres of a dangerous chemical substance, Toluene Diisocyanate, leaking from a container to the deck and hatch cover of the vessel. The crew confirmed that the leakage had been stopped and the leaked chemical substance had been cleaned up. The dangerous substance has not entered the sea.

     Upon receipt of the report, the Marine Department asked the ship company to provide an effective handling proposal. The case was also referred to related government departments.

     The Marine Department and related government departments have studied the ship company's handling proposal and the latest condition of the container. After confirming that the container posed no immediate danger, the vessel was granted permission to anchor in Hong Kong waters south of Lamma today (September 20).

     Qualified surveyors have boarded the vessel for inspection. They confirmed that the container had stopped leaking, that the leaked chemical substance had been cleaned up and that no residue of the leaked substance could be found on the vessel.

     The container has been unloaded from the vessel and properly wrapped. It is now being stored on a barge used for transporting dangerous goods at a dangerous goods anchorage, pending the ship company's arrangements to transport it out of Hong Kong.

     The incident has not affected the environment or created safety problems. The container vessel was later permitted to operate at Kwai Chung Container Terminal.

Ends/Thursday, September 20, 2012
Issued at HKT 20:28