Tanker fire closes part of Houston Ship Channel

The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(HOUSTON) — The Coast Guard and other agencies are responding to a fire aboard a liquid gas carrier that occurred around 9:45 a.m. Monday, which caused the closure of about two miles of the upper ship channel from Houston Ship Channel light 164 to light 151 (near Greensport Dock West).

The fire is out, all personnel are accounted for and on-scene air monitoring has not detected any further threat from the ethylene that was being transferred.

Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service watch standers observed the fire on the carrier Navigator Europa as the tankship was onloading liquid ethylene/C2. Coast Guard Station Houston response boats and Port of Houston fireboats responded immediately to secure the area and suppress the fire, which was reported to have come from the compressor room.

Additional fire and hazardous materials response teams have been deployed from Harris County, Houston, Galena Park and San Jacinto to ensure the safety of the public and the environment.

There are currently three ships in the queue to depart outbound and one tug and barge waiting to come inbound, that are being affected by the closure.


(HOUSTON) — A burning tanker prompted the U.S. Coast Guard to close a section of the Houston Ship Channel on Monday, Reuters reported. Fire crews were working to extinguish the flames rising from Navigator Europa, moored outside the Targa LPG export terminal. A source said the ship was carrying ethylene, a chemical used in making plastic.

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By Professional Mariner Staff