Fire on Barge After Collision in Houston Ship Channel
At approximately 1:20 a.m. on Monday, two eastbound Kirby Inland Marine barges and two westbound Enterprise Marine Services barges collided at mile marker 349 near Bolivar Peninsula in Texas. The two Kirby barges had been being pushed by the tug Capt. Shorty C; the other barges were being pushed by the tug Jackie. According to a U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer, the accident occurred after one of the boats lost power.
After the collision, one of the barges, which was carrying approximately 1 million galls of naphtha, caught fire. Shortly after, a fire boat arrived on the scene and fought the flames until 5:25 a.m. when it was extinguished. By the afternoon, three of the barges had been moved to a safe location to remove their product. Incident responders had worked to continue to stabilize the final barge so that it would be safe to transfer.
Three of the barges sustained damage in the collision; however, no injuries have been reported.
Officials have reported that they do not believe any significant amount of product was released into the water. Federal, state, and local response personnel, as well as barge company representatives, are monitoring the air quality and the impact that the incident had on the environment.