U.S. officials are investigating an explosion inside an export-bound shipping container at a Port of Los Angeles container terminal on Tuesday evening.
The U.S. Coast Guard said it was alerted at approximately 6 p.m. on October 30 that a shipping container had exploded at the Evergreen marine terminal located on Terminal Island under the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
As a result of the explosion, the terminal was evacuated and officials investigated additional containers believed to be carrying the same scrap metal.
The container in question was reported to be loaded with scrap metal intended for export Taiwan.
A Unified Command has been established with the Los Angeles Port Police, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles Fire Department, US Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, FBI, container terminal management and ILWU Labor representatives.
According an update from the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday, an initial investigation has determined that a 40-foot container was delivered earlier in the day along with 11 other containers from a recycling facility on Terminal Island. All were slated for transport to Taiwan.
Preliminary analysis indicated that some form of combustible fuel or other compound was ignited in the sealed container, causing it to explode.
“The involved container was not marked as containing hazardous materials and the manifest indicated clean scrap iron or heavy melting scrap only,” the Port of Los Angeles said.
There were no reports of injuries from the accident.
“Because our facilitation of a safe and secure supply chain is top priority at the Port of Los Angeles, the incident involving an export-bound shipping container that exploded inside a marine terminal storage area here on October 30 is of paramount concern to the Los Angeles Harbor Department and Los Angeles Port Police,” the Port said.