Questions of Lax Oversight Plague Honolulu Harbor Molasses Spill

Sophie Cocke/ Civil Beat

Gary Gill (left) and Matson executive, Vic Angoco (right), brief reporters at a press conference.

Four days after a Matson pipeline broke spilling 233,000 gallons of thick, syrupy molasses into Honolulu Harbor and killing thousands of fish and other sea creatures, a Matson executive stood in front of the harbor perspiring heavily.

The sun was hot, but a mob of reporters also bombarded Vic Angoco, senior vice president for Matson’s Pacific operations, with questions. What caused the spill? What will keep it from happening again? Will the well-known shipping company ultimately pay for the damages?

It went a bit like this:

Is there a record of when the last time the pipeline was inspected?

Angoco: “I have not even looked.”

Do you know how old the molasses pipe is?

Angoco: “I don’t.”

Does Angoco know the last time the pipe was used? “I have no idea.”

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