12 Injured During Hazardous Material Leak in Long Beach

Twelve people were injured Sunday when a concentrated industrial solvent began to leak near the Port of Long Beach.

Eleven ship workers and one firefighter were hurt when a 6,000-gallon container on a ship began leaking a "flammable liquid," said Long Beach Fire Department Public Information Officer Brian Fisk. 

The chemical was identified as propyl acetate, a solvent that in small doses smells of pears and is used as a food flavor. But in large amounts and concentrated form, it can severely irritate eyes, skin and lungs.

Ten of the ship workers were treated on the scene, while one was transported to a hospital with "mild" injuries. The firefighter who was injured was also transported, but his injuries were not related to contact with the material, Fisk said.

Lifeguard rescue boats were assisting the fire department, and a 1,000-foot boom perimeter was established around the ship.

As of 6 p.m., the Long Beach Fire Department said the container had been drained and the solvent secured.

Hazmat operations were ending at the port, according to the fire department.

City News Service contributed to this report. 

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