Ships are only moving inbound on Monday morning along the Houston Ship Channel after a Friday collision between a barge and deep-draft ship that spilled petrochemicals into the waterway, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
No injuries have been reported from the incident.
The 755'x121' Genesis River, a Panama flagged liquid propane gas tanker, collided at about 3:30 p.m. with the 69'x26'x9', 1,350-hp tug Voyager operated by Kirby Inland Marine as it pushed two 25,000-bbl. tank barges of reformate, a high-octane gasoline blend product.
Fire and oil spill response boats were at the site of the collision, and air monitoring was being conducted along the shoreline.
"The bow of the ship went through the port tank into the starboard tank" and both were open to the sea, said Guidry.
It is unclear how much of the product has leaked into the water, officials said.
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It is reported that as a result of the collision, one of the barges overturned, and the second was severely damaged, with each of the barges carrying about 25 thousand tonnes of oil products.
"It be a light chemical and it floats on the water, which permits it to evaporate", Galveston Bay Foundation CEO Bob Stokes knowledgeable KTRK.
"Our objective today is to secure the vessels", U.S. Coast Guard Captain Kevin Oditt told reporters.
The transport channel used to be closed in the location of the accident.
Galveston County officials warned that if anyone smelled gasoline, they should stay indoors and avoid the coastline, KHOU-TV reports. "The big question is how long that will take, which we don't know yet", he said.
Residents in the coastal community of League City could smell a strong odor of gasoline Friday night but air monitors did not detect chemicals in the air, the city said in a statement. Ships were moving outbound on Sunday.