Fire experts have been called in to assist the South African Maritime Safety Authority to determine the cause of toxic fumes that were emitted from a cargo ship in St Helena Bay.
The NS Qingdao vessel is believed to have experienced a chemical reaction when cargo came into contact with rainwater during a discharge at the Durban Port. The ship will be taken to a hazardous waste reception facility in Cape Town.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority’s Acting COO Captain Vernon Keller says so far, investigations revealed that the reactive cargo was sodium methylene sulphate. Initial probes thought that the reaction was a result of rain water.
The cargo is being stabilised by a hazardous materials team.