Section of Houston Ship Channel reopens after aframax fire

A section of the Houston Ship Channel that was closed because of an early-morning fire on an empty crude tanker was getting back to normal on Tuesday afternoon as it reopened to some traffic, according to Reuters.

The US Coast Guard said the one mile stretch of the channel was open again to tow vessel transit outbound from Old River and the San Jacinto River and would later be accepting inbound traffic.

A blaze had broken out on the Aframax River after fuel leaked and caught fire.

It happened near the Intercontinental Terminals Company’s Deer Park terminal at the intersection of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River.

The closed section of the waterway ran a mile southwest of the Battleship Texas State Historic site between the Cargill facility and the Cemex docks.

Two fire boats successfully subdued the blaze and the vessel, owned by Hellenic Tankers, was moved to the dock.

USCG said the tanker struck a submerged object, possibly a sewer line, puncturing a fuel tank and causing the diesel spill that later ignited.
The ship was carrying no product at the time of the incident.

All the tanker’s 25 crew members were accounted for with no injuries reported.

USCG was investigating the volume of bunker fuel that spilled.


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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