Port of Montreal - Fire quickly brought under controlaboard a ship wintering
in Montreal

MONTREAL, Feb. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Saturday at about 15:05, smoke was noticed escaping from the Thalassa Desgagnes, a small Canadian oil carrier approximately 140 metres long which had been decommissioned for the winter. The vessel was empty and its tanks had been degassed. Consequently, there was no risk of explosion. The fire broke out on the deck and covered roughly 25 square metres.

Firefighters and Urgence Santé personnel arrived on the scene at 15:20. At 15:26, the first fire hose was in use. The fire was deemed extinguished at 15:36. Eight fire trucks were dispatched to the site.

The fire was caused by sparks produced during welding. The welder suffered burns to his hands and face. He was taken to Hotel Dieu Hospital at 15:40.

Light pollution from the oil was quickly dispersed by the current, which is very strong in the area.

At 16:15, some of the firefighter units began to leave. Two firefighter units remain on site as a security measure.

The Montreal Port Authority has opened an investigation.

About the Montreal Port Authority

The Montreal Port Authority (MPA) operates the world's largest inland port. It is a leader among container ports, through which more than 24.5 million tonnes of cargo transited in 2009. More than 1,250,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) were handled at the Port of Montreal in 2009. The Port of Montreal owns its own rail network, operated directly on the piers. It is linked to two major railways and a highway system. The Port also operates a grain terminal and a marine passenger terminal. All other terminals are operated by private stevedoring firms. Port activity supports 18,200 jobs and generates $1.5 billion in economic spin-offs per year.

SOURCE Montreal Port Authority

For further information: For further information: Jean-Paul Lejeune, Director of Communications, lejeunejp@port-montreal.com, (514) 283-7050, Fax: (514) 283-0829; www.port-montreal.com

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