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Houston — Tanker Collision Causes Thousands of Gallons of Gas Product Leaking into Houston Ship Channel

Posted on Sunday, May 12th, 2019 at 7:55 am by Williams Hart   |  Updated: Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 at 8:33 am    

At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2019, a collision between a massive tanker and two oil barges has resulted in about tens of thousands of gallons of a gasoline product leaking into the Houston Ship Channel.

According to initial reports, a 755-foot tanker collided with a tug that was pushing two barges filled with 25,000 gallons of reformate each. This occurred in the Houston Ship Channel, near Bayport, Texas. One of the barges was capsized, and it is still unclear how much of the product was leaked into the water.

Reformate is a refined product that is blended with gasoline to boost octane to achieve levels needed for commercial sales. It is an extremely flammable liquid and vapor, and it can be fatal once it’s swallowed. It’s also toxic to marine life.

Crews have now deployed roughly 3,600 feet of boom to prevent the material from spreading farther into the water.

The Galveston County Health District reported that its main priority is the health and safety of the community. A gasoline smell does not necessarily mean there is a health hazard, but nonetheless, air monitoring is still conducted.

Officials believe that it is important for residents to know how to spot symptoms of a possible health hazard caused by this accident. These symptoms may include coughing, difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Burning, irritation and redness of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat are other possible symptoms.

The elderly, children, pregnant women, and those with respiratory issues or weakened immune systems may be especially affected.

The United States Coast Guard will be investigating this accident further.

It is unfortunate to hear of this accident. Alas, this is not the first time that it happens. Oil spills caused by damaged tankers, pipelines, or offshore oil rigs almost always result in immediate and long-term environmental damage that can last for decades. This is because they coat everything they touch and become long-term but unwelcome parts of every ecosystem they enter. As a result, they can have damaging consequences to the marine life in particular, killing or contaminating fish and smaller organisms. Oil spills can indirectly affect humans too, especially if they consume contaminated organisms or have some contact with contaminated water or sand (in the case of beaches).

Oil spills can be as complicated as they are damaging to the victims. Thankfully, there are lawyers who are experts in cases like this. That is why, if you think you are a victim of an effect of an oil spill, or you know someone who is, or you lost a loved one because of this, then please never hesitate in asking help from these lawyers. They will help you in protecting your rights and in getting you the justice that you deserve.

If someone you love was seriously hurt or killed in an accident, you may be unsure of where to turn. The attorneys of Williams Hart have experience helping people through the aftermath of catastrophic accidents, and we can help you too. Contact our law firm at (713) 352-7071 to speak with an experienced lawyer today.

Note: We report on the types of accidents and injuries our law firm has experience handling. Our hearts go out to victims of the accidents described on this blog, and we hope that future accidents, injuries, and deaths can be prevented. These posts are gathered from recent stories in the news. As new developments occur, these stories are often updated. If information contained within this article is false or outdated, please contact us so we can include the new information or make a correction.

Disclaimer: Williams Hart hopes that by showing how often catastrophic accidents occur, we can begin a conversation about how to reduce or prevent them. We sincerely hope that the articles on our blog arm readers with the information needed to avoid being involved in such accidents. Content on this blog should not be construed as legal advice.

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