Acid Leak Shuts Down Port Botany
A chemical leak onboard a cargo ship that shut down half of Sydney’s Port Botany has now been made safe. The leak of nitric acid was discovered coming from a shipping container by crew on the California Senator ship while it was still out at sea.
The DP World section of the wharves at Port Botany was closed at about 1 a.m. local time on Monday when the ship arrived. A Fire and Rescue New South Wales official said the closure of the DP World section meant half of the port's operations would be affected.
The ship’s captain had called port authorities a day earlier to notify them. Luckily, a hazardous materials crew was able to empty the storage drum’s contents and contain the leak. Only one ruptured container was located; all the contaminated products have been removed by a contractor.
As a safety precaution, a 250-meter exclusion zone had been set up around the ship during the day as fire crews checked other drums for leaks.