Barge collision closes Intracoastal Waterway

HOUSTON – The Coast Guard closed a ten-mile section of the Intracoastal Waterway from mile marker 340 to 350 after a barge collision at the Bolivar Terminal early this morning.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received a call at 12:44 a.m. today from the captain of the tug Taylor Marie. The captain reported the Kirby 22302, moored at the Bolivar Fleeting area, was struck by the lead barge being pushed by the Taylor Marie; both barges were damaged. The Kirby 22302 sustained a softball sized hole in a cargo tank and started to leak Cyclohexane. The amount of chemical that leaked out is unknown at this time, but the source of the spill has been secured.

Cyclohexane is a colorless liquid with a sweet chloroform-like odor that is highly flammable.

The Coast Guard established a safety zone in the waterway surrounding the damaged barge and is currently conducting air monitoring to best assess the hazard potential.

The cause of the incident is under investigation by the Coast Guard.

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