Equipment Failure Led to Ship Channel Crash

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 @ 03:03 PM gHale

An equipment failure led to a Sept. 6, 2016 incident in the Houston Ship Channel that left two marine pilots suffering from burns and the discharged 88,000 gallons of low-sulfur marine gas oil, which then caught on fire.

That’s the finding of the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) investigation into the incident.

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The investigators found a momentary failure of a ship’s governor actuator system caused the tank vessel Aframax River to violently strike two mooring “dolphins,” which are man-made marine structures extending above the water level.

The allision tore a 30-foot-long gash in the hull of the ship. The fire ignited from the oil spill burned for 45 minutes.

The accident forced the closure of a portion of the channel for approximately 14 hours and caused $1.5 million in property damage. Two pilots aboard the vessel suffered burns in the fire.



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