Houston Ship Channel Partially Closed After Vessel Collision

The Houston shipping channel remains partially closed after a chemical tanker, the Carla Maersk, collided with a bulk carrier, the Condi Peridot, at 12:41 p.m. Monday, March 9th.  The U.S. Coast Guard began clean-up of the methyl tetr-butyl ether (MTBE) spill creating a 4-8 mile safety zone.  MTBE, a gasoline additive, is highly flammable and dangerous if inhaled in high doses. The U.S. Coast Guard has since reported fumes to be below toxic levels after conducting over 500 air and water tests.  The cause of the collision is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The safety zone shut down several facilities including Barbour Cut Container Terminal, which remains closed as of this publication, while facilities south of the collision, Bayport Container Terminal, are open allowing cargo traffic to continue as usual.  There is no word yet on when operations will fully reopen.   Please contact your Shapiro representative for further details.