The collision happened around 1:20am this morning. The Coast Guard says both barges were being hauled by tug boats when one of the tugs lost power. The barge it was carrying then struck the other barge.
PHOTOS: Houston Ship Channel barge collision
The collision caused a rupture on one of the barges which was carrying one million gallons of petroleum naphtha. That barge caught on fire. An HFD fire boat worked to put out the flames.
The US Coast Guard says its too early to know how much of the product spilled, if any, and what impact it may have on wildlife. The Ship Chanel on the Bolivar side to mile 348 is currently closed.
Petroleum naphtha is a colorless liquid with a gasoline or kerosene-like odor. It can cause irritation to your eyes, nose and throat, plus dizziness, drowsiness, headache and nausea. There are no injuries reported at this time.
The last major barge collision in the ship channel was in March of 2014. The barge was being towed from Texas City to Bolivar when the 585-foot ship Summer Wind collided with the barge. The crash caused nearly 168,000 gallons of thick, tarry fuel oil to spill into the water.
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