HOUSTON — A portion of the busy Houston Ship Channel was shut Monday after two 600-foot ships collided in fog, causing a leak of flammable liquid.
Methyl tertiary-butyl ether, or MTBE, a gasoline additive aboard the Danish-flagged chemical tanker Carla Maersk, leaked from tanks that ruptured in the vessel’s collision with a 623-foot Liberian bulk carrier, Conti Peridot, Coast Guard Petty Officer Manda Emery said.
Three cargo tanks on the vessel were ruptured, releasing an unknown quantity of the gasoline additive, said Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer, commander of the Houston-Galveston Coast Guard District. “This is not a cargo chemical that is easy to clean up,” he said.