Tanker Fire, Oil Spill Shut Down Houston Ship Channel

DEER PARK, TEXAS – The U.S. Coast Guard says a mile of the Houston Ship Channel is closed after an early-morning tanker fire and fuel spill.

The Coast Guard says the tanker, The Aframax River, may have hit a submerged sewer line. This caused a rupture in the hull, leading to a fire. There were no injuries.

The oil tanker wasn’t carrying any freight when the incident happened but leaked its own fuel supply.

The fire has been extinguished, and the Coast Guard says no one was injured.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Dustin Williams says the Coast Guard is trying to determine how much fuel was spilled and what exactly caused the puncture.

One mile of the ship channel remains closed south of the Battleship Texas. Crews will assess the spill after sunrise and hope to reopen the ship channel sometime after 9 a.m.

The Lynchburg Ferry is currently not in service due to the spill.

MarineTraffic.com indicates the ship arrived in Houston from St. Lucia over the weekend. It was supposed to leave the ship channel for travel to Mexico when the incident occurred. The same website reports 25 crew members were safely evacuated as firefighters put out the blaze.