SHANGHAI – Shanghai’s maritime authorities said on Thursday they have contained a leak from a cargo ship and averted a possible environmental disaster in the eastern Chinese city.
The Shanghai Maritime Rescue Center said it received a call at 1:32 am on Wednesday from a ship registered in the Marshall Islands reporting inflammable fluid leaking from one of its containers and into the Yangshan Deep-water Port, south of Shanghai.
The freighter carried 17.05 tons of cyclohexane, a colorless but highly flammable liquid with a strong odor.
Maritime emergency personnel arrived at the ship in an hour’s time and stopped the leakage and drained spilled fluid with sponges and rags.
They also conducted measures against fire and explosion during the operation.
The authorities explained that the non-volatile cyclohexane was insoluble in water, but that the liquid dripped mainly in the container and not into the sea.
The ship’s crew said that a valve problem had caused the leak and that the cyclohexane was leaking at a rate of some 40 liters per hour.
The 304-meter long freighter weighs 73,943 tons and had 22 crew members, who were safe.