Oil spill endangers wildlife and interrupts ferry operations - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas


Oil spill endangers wildlife and interrupts Galveston-Bolivar ferry operations

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A barge is still leaking oil after colliding with a ship near Houston Saturday. Officials say the barge contained nearly a million gallons of fuel oil. The collision happened in Galveston Bay in the Houston Ship Channel. It happened in an area known as the Texas City "Y".

Officials say multiple agencies and companies are on the scene.

As first reported on 12News Saturday, the collision was between a 585-foot bulk carrier and the barge that was carrying 924,000 gallons of fuel.  According to officials, that barge is now partially sunk. Coast Guard officials said that up to 168,000 gallons were dumped. The oil from the ruptured barge had been detected 12 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Coast Guard closed the ship channel to traffic while cleanup continues. The Texas Department of Transportation notified motorists Saturday night that operations will remain suspended at the Galveston-Bolivar ferry until further notice.

Arrangements were made for the Carnival Magic cruise ship to pass through the restricted area and dock at the port.

Containment booms are being used to protect environmentally-sensitive areas. The region is still recovering from the massive BP oil spill  in 2010 which threatened wildlife and fishing.


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