On Monday, July 20th, two eastbound Kirby Inland Marine barges and two westbound Enterprise Marine Services barges collided at mile marker 349 on the Intracoastal Waterway near Bolivar Peninsula in Texas and a fire ensued in the early morning hours.
A fire erupted on one of the Enterprise Marine Services barges, being pushed by the tug Jackie, which had approximately a million gallons of a flammable petroleum product – naphtha. A Port of Houston fire boat arrived on the scene and with the assistance of a T&T Marine Salvage vessel extinguished the fire. No injuries were reported.
“At this time, response officials do not believe any significant amount of product was released into the waterway. Air monitoring in the area continues to show no risk to the public,” the U.S. Coast Guard said in a release.
The cause of the incident is under investigation. The Coast Guard added that It is unknown whether the fire was burning diesel fuel used aboard the barge, or the naphtha product.
The closed section of the Intracoastal Waterway from mile marker 348 to the Houston Ship Channel was opened to one-way traffic westbound at a slow bell until 9:15pm, when the barges were moved.
The Intercoastal Waterway is fully reopened by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Image: US Coast Guard