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Union Blames 2015 Houston Ship Channel Collision On Fuel

A union has cited fuel issues as a likely cause of a 2015 collision between two vessels leading to a chemical spill in the Houston Ship Channel.

NTSB Board Member Earl Weener joined by (Director of Marine Safety) Tracy Murrell and Eric Stolzenberg (Investigator In Charge), view damage to bow of the M/V Conti Peridot
NTSB Board Member Earl Weener joined by (Director of Marine Safety) Tracy Murrell and Eric Stolzenberg (Investigator In Charge), view damage to bow of the M/V Conti Peridot

A union has cited fuel issues as a likely cause of a 2015 collision between two vessels leading to a chemical spill in the Houston Ship Channel.

The Houston Chronicle reported Sunday that the Houston Pilots Association challenged a federal review that blamed pilot errors.

The National Transportation Safety Board, in a report this month about the March 2015 accident, urged Houston officials to emphasize better communication and bridge management. Officials also cited heavy fog when the Conti Peridot struck a chemical tanker, the Carla Maersk.

Union officials responded by saying the accident was most likely caused by a switch to ultralow-sulphur fuel oil, leading the Conti Peridot to unexpectedly lose power seconds before the accident.

About 88,000 gallons of a flammable chemical spilled. Nobody was injured.

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