Monday, 27 May, 2019

Tanker Collision Spills Massive Amounts of Toxic Liquid In Houston-Area Bay

Ship plows into barges in Houston channel, spilling toxic gas additive into bay (VIDEO) Houston Ship Channel closed after barge, vessel collide
Elijah Vega | 13 May, 2019, 20:05

The Houston Ship Channel reopened to limited traffic on Sunday after a vessel collision dumped nearly 400,000 gallons of a gasoline ingredient and choked suburbs of the US city with noxious fumes.

There were no reported injuries during the collision with the tanker, the Genesis River.

The barges were loaded with the gasoline blending component Reformate, which is leaking into the water after the incident Friday near Bayport, Texas, officials said.

Reformate is colourless, flammable and toxic to touch, inhale or ingest.

"Work is expected to continue throughout the day with an established priority of ensuring the protection of (Galveston) Bay from the additional release of product", the statement said. A Port Houston Fire Department fireboat plus oil spill response, air monitoring and salvage personnel are responding, the Coast Guard said. Both barges were carrying about 25,000 barrels of reformate, which is refined chemical product that is blended with gasoline to boost octane levels.

"We don't know the cause of the incident at this time", said Oditt.

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McDonnell, Labour's financial spokesman and a member of the party's negotiating team, said the situation was precarious.

Officials said crews have deployed roughly 3,600 feet of boom to prevent the material from spreading farther into the water.

"Over the past two months, communities along the Houston Ship Channel have experienced possibly the worst series of benzene exposures in an urban setting seen in the United States", Elena Craft, senior director, climate and health at the Environmental Defense Fund said in an email.

The Houston Chronicle reports the closure halted 29 inbound ships and 17 outbound.

There were 44 vessels waiting lined up to enter the ship channel and 37 vessels waiting to leave on Sunday morning, according to the Houston Pilots association.

The transport channel used to be closed in the location of the accident.

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