Large white plume visible after cargo ship's hatch blows in Vancouver harbour
White smoke pouring off the ship was visible from the Lions Gate Bridge and the shoreline
A large white plume was visible pouring from a large cargo ship in Vancouver's harbour late Tuesday afternoon after a hatch blew open, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.
Images and video footage posted to social media show the ship near the Lions Gate Bridge.
No flames are visible in the footage but a white plume is seen pouring upwards from the bulk carrier ship Minoan Glory.
"We were told through many calls from 911 that [witnesses] thought they saw an explosion on a freighter," said Aubrey Hachey of the coast guard's Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre.
Hachey said the billowing plumes were the result of a hatch blowing open, resulting in the hold's contents venting in a process he called "fumigation."
There was no fire and there were no injuries, Hachey said.
Two coast guard ships responded and have since left the scene.
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, there are no concerns about pollution as it was not a vessel fire.
The Transportation and Safety Board (TSB) is looking into the incident.
"We know that the ship was carrying soybean," said Dean Campbell with the TSB. "There were 22 crew and one pilot on board."
A fumigation company is currently on board investigating the explosion, Campbell added.
RCMP and the Vancouver Port Authority are also investigating.
With files from Yvette Brend