Houston Ship Channel Reopens after Chem Spill

Monday, July 18, 2016 @ 04:07 PM gHale


The Houston Ship Channel reopened after closing Thursday because of a leak of 500 gallons of a chemical compound.

The chemical was benzene, a compound found in crude oil, and the U.S. Coast Guard and the Harris County Hazardous Material Response Team are investigating just how the spill occurred.

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The spill came from the tanker Maritime Jingan, moored at the Vopak Terminal.

The Vessel Traffic Service closed a portion of the Houston Ship Channel between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou at 12:20 p.m. That portion reopened at 2:40 p.m.

Officials identified the spill around noon. The leak ended up quickly secured and only a small portion of the benzene entered the water, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.