A collision between two shipping barges that spilled 4,000 barrels of marine fuel oil into Gulf of Mexico waters is keeping Texas shipping channels closed, authorities report on Monday.
The Houston Ship Channel was closed after an oil barge and cargo ship collided on Saturday and remains closed as of Monday morning. The waterway connects Texas refineries with the open seas of the Gulf of Mexico, and the U.S. Coast Guard classifies it as one of the world’s busiest petrochemical thoroughfares. According to news reports, there are currently no fewer than 60 ships waiting to use the waterway.
It is unknown how long the waterway will be closed, but as of Monday morning there were 24 cleanup ships on site.
The Coast guard said, “Changing currents, winds and weather conditions have necessitated response officials to further extend containment and oil recovery plans further into the Gulf of Mexico and south along Galveston Island.”
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