Vancouver port resumes most operations after container fire

Vancouver | Reuters — Port Metro Vancouver said Thursday that operations had resumed at most port facilities shut down by a shipping container fire the day before, but that its Centerm container terminal was still closed.

The chemical fire, which prompted a massive emergency response late on Wednesday and shut down a large portion of Canada’s biggest port, continued to smoulder at the container yard just east of downtown Vancouver.

“Fire officials have isolated the fire and continue to monitor the container,” said Port Metro Vancouver spokesman John Parker-Jervis in a statement, adding there is a 100-metre exclusion zone in place around the burning container.

Operations had resumed at all other port facilities on the south shore of the Burrard Inlet, he added. Port operations in Delta and along the Fraser river were not impacted by the fire.

The Centerm facility is one of four container terminals in Metro Vancouver and is operated by DP World Ltd. The Dubai-based company confirmed on Thursday that the burning container contained trichloroisocyanauric acid, commonly used as an industrial disinfectant and bleach.

“DP World is communicating directly with customers impacted by the event and working to address any cargo or operational concerns,” it said in a statement.

Julie Gordon is a Reuters correspondent covering the energy and resource sectors from Vancouver.

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