Houston maritime injury lawyers keep abreast of accidents and dangerous conditions in our nation’s navigable waterways. This article will discuss recent vessel collisions in the Houston Ship Channel.
Houston Maritime Injury Lawyers Discuss July 2015 Barge Collision
Our Houston Maritime Lawyers closely followed media and United States Coast Guard reports that two barges in the Houston Ship Channel collided on Monday, July 20, 2015 at 1:20 a.m. The collision occurred near the intersection of the Intercoastal Waterway and Houston Ship Channel.
One of the tugboats towing the barges lost power, causing the collision.
One of the barges was carrying 1 million barrels of naptha, a natural gas derivative. That vessel caught fire. After an extended period of time, the Houston Fire Department (HFD) was able to extinguish the vessel fire with a fire boat.
This was the first major barge collision since March 2014, when a barge being towed from Texas City to Bolivar was struck by a ship called the Summer Wind, spilling 168,000 gallons of fuel oil into the Houston Ship Channel.
It is unknown whether any maritime personal injuries were sustained in the vessel collision.
March 2015 Ship Collision In Port Of Houston
Previously, on March 20, 2015 at 12:40 p.m., the 600-foot Danish-flagged chemical tanker Carla Maersk collided with the 623-foot Liberian-flagged bulk carrier Conti Peridot, spilling methyl tertiary-butyl ether (“MTBE”) into the Houston Ship Channel.
MTBE is a fuel additive used to raise the oxygen content of gasoline. It is colorless, volatile, and flammable. About 216,000 barrels of MTBE was aboard the chemical tanker at the time of the collision. It is unknown how much was spilled into the Houston Ship Channel.
United States Coast Guard Captain Brian Penoyer, who commands the Houston-Galveston Coast Guard District, confirmed that “this is not a cargo chemical that is easy to clean up.”
Foggy conditions appear to have precipitated the vessel collision.
No maritime personal injuries were initially reported, but 350 residents of Morgan Point, Texas were asked to stay inside to avoid toxic fumes.
About The Port Of Houston
The Port of Houston is the busiest seaport in the United States in foreign tonnage, and the second busiest in overall tonnage.
The busiest terminal at the Port of Houston is the Barbours Cut Terminal between La Porte and Morgan’s Point, Texas, near the Battleground Industrial District. The terminal has six berths with 6,000 feet of warfs covering 230 acres. Many maritime personal injuries have occurred on vessels traveling to and from the Port of Houston.
Additionally, several personal injury accidents and explosions have occurred at the large petrochemical complex located near the Port of Houston. This complex includes several refineries and plants constructed along the Houston Ship Channel to provide easy access to navigable waterways, along with protection from storm surges and hurricanes that are common in the Gulf of Mexico.
The 1947 Texas City disaster at the nearby Port of Texas Port was the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history, injuring at least 8,485 victims and killing nearly 600.
Morrow & Sheppard Assist Injured Maritime Workers
Our Houston maritime injury attorneys are privileged to represent injured maritime and offshore workers and crewmen. Many of these injured workers are entitled to compensation under the Jones Act.
We provide 100% free and confidential consultations to all potential clients, and we only get paid when our clients win.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an offshore or maritime accident, or if a loved one has been killed, please contact us now to discuss your legal rights.