Busy Texas waterway remains partially closed after collision

May 11, 2019 - 1:21 pm

BAYPORT, Texas (AP) — A busy commercial waterway near Houston remains partially closed following a collision involving four vessels that caused a toxic gasoline product to leak into the water.

Authorities said at a news conference Saturday that the hull of a 755-foot (230-meter) tanker punctured storage tanks on a tug boat that was pushing two barges along the Houston Ship Channel.

One barge capsized Friday. The other was damaged.

The Coast Guard hasn't revealed the cause of the collision. It's trying to determine how much reformate leaked into the channel. The gas product is colorless, flammable and toxic to touch, inhale or ingest.

The National Weather Service has warned that people living nearby may be able to smell gasoline fumes.

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

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