Houston Ship Channel hit by fire in pipeline at oil terminal

One person was injured when an out-of-service pipeline at a storage facility along the Houston Ship Channel caught fire, according to the Houston Chronicle.

Some water pollution resulted from the operation to contain the fire, which happened in a pipeline of the Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company (HFOTCO) in east Harris County.

Crews from the fire departments of Highlands and Sheldon tackled the blaze. A hazmat unit was also in attendance.

The injured person was a contractor who was part of a team of around a dozen working to repair the out-of-service pipeline when a flash fire occurred.

He was taken to hospital for treatment and later released.

Some crude oil residue was swept into the channel during the firefighting, causing a small amount of pollution.

HFOTCO brought in its own people to start cleaning up the mess that was contained in the ship channel.

The company and the fire department will investigate what caused the pipeline fire.

Part of the Port of Houston, the 52-mile Houston Ship Channel is one of the world’s busiest commercial waterways. It connects the many terminals at the port – including several petrochemical facilities – to the Gulf of Mexico through Galveston Bay.

HFOTCO owns and operates a 13.8m-barrel storage terminal and is the largest provider of residual fuel oil storage on the US Gulf Coast.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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