NEW Aerial Photos Show MTBE Spill In Houston Ship Channel

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel
The chemical tanker Carla Maersk and the bulk carrier Conti Peridot off Morgan’s Point, Texas, March 10, 2015, after being involved in a collision March 9, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard Photos

With the fog cleared, some new ariel photos released Tuesday afternoon show the MT Carla Maersk and MV Conti Peridot still at anchor in the Houston Ship Channel near Morgan’s Point, Texas, where the vessels collided midday Monday. A sheen of MTBE, a hazardous and extremely flammable fuel additive, can be seen coming from the bow of the tanker.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Houston Ship Channel remained closed to all traffic from light 86 to the Fred Hartman Bridge, a roughly 4 mile stretch.

The Port of Houston Authority has already said that the Barbours Cut Container Terminal will not open for normal business operations on Wednesday at 7:00 a.m., an indication that the portion of the Houston Ship Channel that remains shut will not be reopened either.

The Carla Maersk spilled an unknown quantity of the approximately 216,000 barrels of the chemical Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) it was hauling when the collision breached three of the ships port tanks. The Conti Peridot, carrying a cargo of steel, suffered damage to its bow and reportedly lost an anchor.

The Coast Guard said that the efforts to clean up the MTBE could take days.

Full Coverage: Carla Maersk Collision

Photos courtesy U.S. Coast Guard

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

A sheen of MTBE stretches up the Houston Ship Channel past the Conti Peridot near Morgan’s Point, Texas, March 10, 2015.

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

Collision near Morgan's Point in Houston Ship Channel

AIS Simulation of the collision (Carla Maersk is the outbound vessel):