LPG Carrier Collides with Barges in Houston Ship Channel
Authorities are responding to a collision on the Houston Ship Channel between a 755-foot LPG tanker and a tug pushing two barges near Bayport, Texas.
The tanker Genesis River and the tug Voyager collided near Light 71-74 on Friday. The tug was transporting two barges loaded with the gasoline blend stock Reformate. One barge capsized and one is reported damaged.
An estimated 25,000 barrels of Reformate were loaded on each barge, and an estimated 9,000 barrels of the chemical have been released from the damaged barge.
There are no reported injuries, but Reformate is considered a carcinogen, toxic to humans and the environment.
A unified command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and Kirby Inland Marine, operator of Voyager, has been established. A Port Houston Fire Department fireboat plus oil spill response, air monitoring and salvage personnel are responding.
The Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health is also involved in monitoring the impact of the spill on nearby communities where some residents have reported an unusual smell.
The Houston Ship Channel was reopened to shipping on Sunday; 44 vessels were waiting to enter the channel and 37 were waiting to leave by Sunday morning, according to the Houston Pilots.
The Genesis River was delivered to Japan's K-Line late last year. The 54,149dwt vessel has a cargo capacity of 82,400 cubic meters.