New video shows serious dangers posed by LNG tankers
A new, short video illustrates in vivid detail the dangers posed by plans to run LNG tankers through narrow, densely populated coastal waterways in places like Howe Sound, Saanich Inlet, Prince Rupert and Kitimat. Drawing on data and studies from global leaders in the field of LNG tanker safety, the video superimposes tanker danger zones over planned shipping routes, demonstrating how many coastal communities would face death, injury and property damage in the event of a mishap.
The video was produced by Colton Hash of Grassroots Rendering, which describes itself as “a project aimed to support activist media projects by offering services for computer animation and graphic design.”
The data Hash draws on, emanating from the Society of International Gas Tanker and Terminal Operators (SIGTTO) and Sandia Laboratories, has been well-published in these pages – yet this video offers a detailed visual rendering of these grave risks.
Experts in the field
Sandia Laboratories was commissioned by the US government to study LNG tankers and the likelihood and ramifications of an explosion, in order to develop a series of hazard zones to guide shipping regulations. As a result, no American port would attempt the type of activities now being contemplated in BC. Even the Harper government rejected similar LNG plans on the East Coast of Canada out of safety concerns.
As the video explains, summarizing Sandia’s findings in the event of an explosion, when cold, compressed gas “is exposed to air, it evaporates extremely rapidly, producing explosive gas vapor. Field tests show that pools of LNG can burn for long periods of time. Flames from large LNG pool fires can reach up to 150 meters high.”
Industry proponents are quick to suggest that LNG has a relatively safe history. This is problematic for two reasons. First, new plans for shipping LNG on the BC coast violate the most basic global safety standards, rendering the industry’s history irrelevant. By significantly raising the risk level and volume of shipping, we’re entering uncharted waters. Second, as the video notes, “the accident record for the Natural Gas industry is far from spotless,” showing the catastrophic explosion of an LNG tanker truck in China.