Coast Guard to Search Containers After Fire in Port of LA


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SAN PEDRO (CNS) - The U.S. Coast Guard announced today it will search all containers of a shipping company at the Port of Los Angeles after a fire revealed the cargo inside its containers was not what was described in the bill of lading.  

The cargo in the container that caught fire at 8:20 p.m. March 4 was supposed to be ``synthetic resins,'' according to Coast Guard officials in Los Angeles. Instead the container held lithium-ion batteries, a regulated hazardous material which complicated firefighting efforts. The container was to be loaded onto a ship sailing for China.  

The Coast Guard is working with the shipping company, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration and the Port of Los Angeles to identify and inspect all their containers in the port. The Coast Guard also placed a hold on all containers from the shipper until they can prove that all of the shipments comply with safety regulations.  

``Undeclared hazardous materials pose a severe risk to the safety of cargo vessels, the ports, and first responders,'' said Capt. Rebecca Ore, captain of the Port and commanding officer of U.S. Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach. ``Along with our federal, state, and local partners, the Coast Guard is dedicated to working with all shippers to ensure hazardous materials are properly marked and packaged for safe transportation.''

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