Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Bars Ship from Haiti, Cites Hazards

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

U.S. Bars Ship from Haiti, Cites Hazards

Article excerpt

The U.S. Coast Guard denied docking rights Thursday to the first commercial cargo ship to arrive in Haiti since an international economic embargo ended Oct. 15, leaving several thousand newly hired factory workers facing layoffs.

The Coast Guard said the cargo ship Ocean Fleet was rejected because three of its containers held industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals improperly stored together, posing a potential hazard to the 1,000 U.S. military personnel occupying Haiti's main port.

Angry factory owners and shipping agents said the ship's contents - 76 containers with food, medicine, relief supplies and previously embargoed assembly plant materials - left Miami last week as part of a priority shipment aimed at jump-starting Haiti's ailing economy.

At least 21 factories could be forced to suspend operations because of the action, Port-au-Prince shipping agent Richard Sassine said. Several factory owners had reopened their facilities this week and hired as many as 6,000 workers in anticipation of the cargo's arrival, he added. …

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