The Port of Tacoma evacuated the East Blair 1 dock Thursday morning after a worker found a stick of dynamite while cleaning mining equipment from Chile.
Workers returned to the job just before 1 p.m. Thursday after a trio of Washington State Patrol dogs searched the area, said Port of Tacoma spokeswoman Tara Mattina.
About a dozen workers from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union left the job site Thursday morning and a handful of truckers evacuated the site, Mattina said.
ILWU Local 26 President Dean McGrath called the evacuation “routine.”
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Eight pieces of mining equipment were unloaded from a Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ship on June 25 at the East Blair 1 terminal, on the north side of the Blair Waterway on Tacoma’s Tideflats, Mattina said.
One piece of equipment was taken off site Wednesday evening to be cleaned, where another worker found a stick of dynamite. Six pieces of mining equipment remained on site.
“In the interest of safety, the Longshore (workers) have returned to the hall,” Mattina said Thursday morning. The all-clear to return to the site was given at 12:40 p.m.
The East Blair 1 terminal handles breakbulk cargo — large, bulky or irregularly shaped items that will not fit into a standard shipping container. Such items include construction equipment and large vehicles.
“When you get stuff from all over the world, and all different conditions, you never know what you might find,” McGrath said. “We found a cobra last year. The dynamite was better than finding a live cobra.”