LPG Tanker Catches Fire in Houston Ship Channel

LPG tanker Navigator Europa. Photo: MarineTraffic.com
LPG tanker Navigator Europa. File photo: MarineTraffic.com/James Duffy

A fire broke out onboard a LPG tanker moored in the Houston Ship Channel near Galena Park on Monday morning.

The Coast Guard says the fire was reported at about 9:45 a.m. on the Liberian-flagged LPG tanker Navigator Europa, which was moored at Targa’s Galena Park LPG export terminal.

The Coast Guard said the fire occurred as the ship was loading a cargo of liquid ethylene.

The fire has been extinguished, the Coast Guard said.

A photo published by local media shows smoke emanating from the deck of the vessel as fire crews work to extinguish the blaze.

The Coast Guard said that the fire was reported to have come from the ship’s compressor room.

The incident has prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close a 2-mile section of the upper Houston Ship from light 164 to light 151 (near Greensport Dock West). There are currently three ships in the queu to depart outbound and one tug and barge waiting to come inbound. Update: The Houston Ship Channel was reopened shortly after the fire was extinguished. 

The fire is out, all personnel are accounted for and on scene air monitoring has not detected any further threat from the ethylene that was being transferred,” the Coast Guard said in a statement. 

Following the initial report of the fire, Coast Guard Station Houston response boats and Port of Houston fire boats responded immediately to secure the area and suppress the fire. Additional fire and hazardous materials response teams have been deployed from Harris County, Houston, Galena Park and San Jacinto to ensure the safety of the public and the environment, the Coast Guard said. 

AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the LPG tanker Navigator Europa moored in the Houston Ship Channel, Monday, December 14, 2015. Credit: MarineTraffic.com
AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the LPG tanker Navigator Europa moored in the Houston Ship Channel, Monday, December 14, 2015. Credit: MarineTraffic.com

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