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The collision of the "Fort Worth"
( Taken from a newspaper, thanks to Dale G. Elhardt )
The "Fort Worth" a U.S.-flag gasoline tanker damaged Sunday in a collision at the entrance
to Los Angeles Harbor/ unloaded its explosive cargo Monday in Wilmington.
( Photo by Randy Mudrick )

Gasoline tanker unloads cargo safely
By John Davies Staff writer
A gasoline tanker, its bow flattened in a collision with an oil tanker Sunday at the entrance to Los Angeles Harbor, unloaded its explosive cargo safely Monday in Wilmington.
As investigators probed the cause of the accident, the Coast Guard's port operations chief said that the ships had been "very, very lucky" to avoid a fiery disaster.
Cmdr Skip Onstad said the 606-foot Fort Worth, loaded with gasoline, collided with the 657-foot oil tanker Keiyoh Maru at 2 a.m. Sunday.
The Fort Worth was on its way into Los Angeles Harbor, bound for the Shell Oil Co. docks at Mormon Island in Wilmington.
At the same time, the Keiyoh Maru was headed out of Long Beach Harbor, turning west to round the Palos Verdes Peninsula for a short trip north up the coast to El Segundo.
The weather was clear, Onstad said, but it was not known Monday whether watches had been posted nor whether radar screens were manned and working.
The Fort Worth, a U.S.-flag ship, had slowed to take on a harbor pilot from Long Beach shortly before the two ships crashed together. Onstad said.
The Keiyoh, registered in Panama, apparently had begun to pass in front of the Fort Worth when the ships collided. The accident ripped a 30-foot tear in the Keiyoh's port side near the bow and shortened the bow of the Fort Worth by 20 feet.
Onstad said Monday that investigators still are unsure about the cause of the accident and about which ship was primarily at fault.
He declined to speculate on whether the Keiyoh had cut across a precautionary approach lane leading into Angels' Gate in Los Angeles Harbor
"We really don't know yet," he said.
Onstad said that had the collision ignited the gasoline aboard the Fort Worth, the ships could have exploded into a fireball that would have taken many lives.
He said he considers gasoline to be more dangerous than any other cargo handled at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports including liquefied petroleum gas.
"They were very, very lucky," he said.
After the accident, the Fort Worth was able to continue to the Shell dock at Berth 169 in Wilmington under its own power, where it discharged its gasoline Monday.
The Keiyoh Maru limped back through Queen's Gate into outer Long Beach Harbor, where it was at anchor Monday.