Houston Ship Channel Briefly Closed after Benzene Spill

The Houston Ship Channel was briefly closed due to a benzene spill from the 2003-built chemical tanker Maritime Jingan while it was moored at Vopak Terminal, Deer Park, Texas, in the afternoon of July 14, according to the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The USCG said that some 500 gallons of benzene was released in the incident, which led to a brief closure of the channel between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou.

The leak has been secured and the cause is under investigation. A small portion of the benzene from the 44,411 dwt ship entered the water, the USCG said.

Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders, as well as the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, were notified about the benzene spill by Vopak Terminal personnel around 12 p.m.

Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Houston Galveston resumed traffic on the ship channel to traffic two hours later, according to a spokesman for the Houston Pilots, Henry de La Garza.

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