Chemical leak closes Charleston Terminal
The U.S. Coast Guard said the South Carolina State Ports Authority’s North Charleston Terminal was reopened today after it was closed Wednesday by a chemical gas leak.
No injuries were reported, but the Coast Guard said the North Charleston Fire Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, a private environmental contractor, and other agencies and companies were called to stabilize a shipment of the flammable chemical difluoroethylene. The chemical can be used as a refrigerant and also for manufacturing insulated wiring.
Six cylinders of the chemical in a 40-foot frame were awaiting export when a leak was discovered.
Exercising caution, officials decided Wednesday to close the facility and clear the area. Normally, 1,000 trucks move through the facility per day.
Fittings on the tank were tightened and the tanks were loaded on a ship that departed the terminal this morning, press reports said.