CREWS from the Country Fire Authority are expected to remain at the site of a hazardous chemical leak in Portland at least until the weekend.
Nanjing Night Net

Liquid pitch, which began leaking from a large storage tank on Saturday afternoon, continues to run at the rate of two tonnes an hour. More than 280 tonnes of the pitch, used in the smelting of aluminium, had leaked by lunchtime today.

State Emergency Service volunteers have been sandbagging the area to contain the material.

Preparations have begun to arrange the transfer of the remaining contents of the tank to a ship, which is expected to arrive late tomorrow or early Thursday from Newcastle.

A CFA spokesman said there were no toxic vapours in the air, but this would continue to be monitored with six separate stations set up around the city. Additional air monitoring equipment is being brought in today.

Police have asked visitors and sightseers are to keep away from the Battery Point area.

Anyone needing to access the port area must obtain a permit from the Portland fire station.

There is no access for recreational aquatic activities or vessels in the port area and recreational fishers have been advised to use alternative locations to launch boats, such as Wally’s ramp at Dutton Way.

The response to the incident has involved a range of agencies and companies including the CFA, police, the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Glenelg Shire, Rural Ambulance Victoria, the Port of Portland, Koppers Australia, which operates the storage facility, and technical specialists from Portland Aluminium.

Madeira Packet Road, between Greenmount LK and Findlay Street, and the Lee Breakwater Road, between the skate park and the marina, remain closed.

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