AmericasPorts and Logistics

Toxic smoke continues to hamper operations in Port of Santos

Some port operations continued to be disrupted by the effects of toxic smoke at Brazil’s Port of Santos on Friday, a day after a chemical blaze broke out in around a dozen containers, according to Reuters.

While firefighters had the fire under control they were still trying to snuff it out on Friday afternoon. Smoke drifted over the port and to parts of the city.

Santos port, located in Sao Paulo state, is the busiest in Latin America with dozens of terminals handling a range of cargoes, including solid and liquid bulk, containers and general loads. A quarter of Brazil’s trade passes through there.

Operations were halted at the Localfrio-operated terminal where the fire started and at one adjacent terminal. But the port’s other 53 terminals were operating normally.

Trucks carrying exports were being denied access to the Guaruja side of the port.

It is believed the blaze broke out after rain interacted with chemicals –and disinfectant agents chloric acid and sodium dichloroisocyanurate – in the containers. Because of that reaction, firefighters were avoiding the use of water as a dousing agent.

The Localfrio terminal was evacuated of workers and nearby residents were advised to stay indoors and to cover their faces with cloth if they had to venture outside. More than 50 people sought medical attention after possibly inhaling the gases.

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Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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