Harbor security upgrade

Harbor police will step up checks on haulage trucks boarding ferries after last week’s blaze that started in a trailer parked in a ship’s hold and containing dangerous chemicals, the government said yesterday. Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Paschalidis said Greece’s ports must come to resemble airports as far as security measures are concerned, adding that particular attention will be paid to unaccompanied trailers such as the one that caused last Wednesday’s fire on the Knossos Palace – which was quickly extinguished by the ship’s sprinkler system and crewmen. Nobody was hurt. Paschalidis said trailers loaded onto ferries without cabs – and therefore without a trucker to keep an eye on them – would henceforth have to be accompanied by someone on the ship. Furthermore, packaging procedures will be standardized to facilitate inspections for dangerous loads. The minister also ordered an investigation into whether port police responsible for checking the Knossos Palace’s cargo had followed regulations on the transport of dangerous materials.