DP World's Prince Rupert, B.C. container terminal reopened Tuesday after an unidentified "incident" forced the facility to shut down over the holiday weekend.
At about 0500 hours on Sunday, an undisclosed event at the Fairview terminal container yard injured 11 dockers. The facility was evacuated, and the affected workers were taken to the hospital to treat respiratory complaints and eye irritation. “Two were initially kept for observation and thankfully all were discharged within hours of their arrival. We continue to check on their well-being,” DP World said in a statement. “Our first priority is the safety and well-being of our employees, the local community, and any others who may have been affected.”
DP World performed air quality tests in the area and found no contaminants; an industrial hygienist declared the facility safe to reopen at 0430 hours on Monday. In a statement, the Port of Prince Rupert said that there is "no inhalation hazard to the community of Prince Rupert nor hazard to the marine environment as related to this incident."
The incident comes just a few days after the completion of DP World's $200 million Fairview Container Terminal Phase 2, which nearly doubles the port's container capacity to 1.35 million TEU per year. The new wharf has three Malacca-max STS cranes, which will allow it to handle boxships of more than 20,000 TEU.
Just a decade ago ago, Fairview was a disused breakbulk terminal, its business depleted by the declining fortunes of the region's wood products business. Maher Terminals redeveloped it as a container facility in 2007, and it has since grown into a powerhouse for trans-Pacific trade. Prince Rupert is the closest Canadian deep sea port to East Asian markets, and thanks to a high-capacity rail corridor across the Rockies, it can reduce time and cost for shipments bound for the heartland.