A tank barge leaks fuel oil following a collision with a bulk carrier, March 22, 2014. U.S. Coast Guard Photo
On Saturday, the Liberia-flagged bulk carrier MV Summer Wind collided with a barge carrying about 924,000 gallons of a heavy bunker fuel in the Houston Ship Channel at the mouth of Galveston Bay at 12:35 p.m. local time, causing a breach in one of the barges 168,000 gallon tanks.
An update Monday from the USCG said all 168,000 gallons of oil, or 4,000 barrels, were released from the breached tank.
As of Monday night, more than 71,000 feet of containment boom had been deployed on waters surrounding the incident site and along sensitive shorelines in the area, the Coast Guard said. An additional 192,500 feet of boom has been staged for possible deployment and another 20,680 feet ordered.
Approximately 27 response vessels are actively working to skim and recover oil with more than 539 personnel actively on-scene and another 218 responding in the incident command post, according to the latest update.
The barge, which was being towed by Kirby Inland Marine’s MV Miss Susan, has since been lightened and removed from the area.
As of Tuesday morning, the Houston Ship Channel was only partially re-opened to limited barge traffic, with 54 deep-draft ships waiting to enter the channel headed to the port of Houston while 47 waited to leave, according to the Coast Guard. Another four ships waited to sail to Texas City, Texas, where refineries and petrochemical plants are also located. One ship was waiting to exit Texas City. Five ships were also waiting to sail to Galveston.
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