Vessel collision with barge causes big oil spill

September 26, 2009 8:38:04 PM PDT
The Coast Guard is cleaning up an oil spill that dumped 10,000 gallons of fuel into the Ship Channel.According to the Coast Guard, a ship called "Chemical Supplier" struck a barge near the 610 bridge Friday night. One of chemical supplier's fuel tanks ruptured, emptying about half of its 22,000 gallon capacity into the water. The Ship Channel is closed to traffic north of the bridge while crews clean up the spill.

The Coast Guard says the closure will not have a large economic impact.

"If it happened at the entrance to the Houston Ship Channel, it would be a major problem," said Captain Marcus Woodring with the US Coast Guard. "It is very near the end of the Houston Ship Channel. We had no arrivals scheduled today and only one for tomorrow."

The leak was capped a few hours after the tank ruptured.

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