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Houston Ship Channel Reopens after Barge Accident Leaks Fuel

An oil slick washes up on the shore Tuesday, May 19, 2015, near Goleta, Calif. (Kennth Song/The News-Press via AP)
An oil slick washes up on the shore Tuesday, May 19, 2015, near Goleta, Calif. (Kennth Song/The News-Press via AP)

HOUSTON — The Houston Ship Channel has reopened after a barge collided with a docked vessel, releasing up to 23,000 gallons of fuel and forcing the temporary closure of part of the vital waterway.

A Coast Guard news release says no one was injured in the accident Wednesday morning, but that 1.5 miles of the upper portion of the channel was closed for about two hours.

The moored barge was carrying more than 1 million gallons of naphtha. The Coast Guard says up to 23,000 gallons of the toxic, flammable liquid leaked, but that it was expected to evaporate within a few hours.

Both barges are operated by Houston-based Kirby Inland Marine Transportation.

Kirby spokesman Matt Woodruff said Thursday that the cargo was safely transferred from the damaged barge to another vessel.

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