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Portion Of Houston Ship Channel Reopens Following Benzene Spill On Tanker

The Coast Guard closed the waterway between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou just after noon.

Update 3:06 p.m.A portion of the Houston Ship Channel has reopened after a benzene spill.

The Coast Guard says it was notified around noon that about 500 gallons of benzene spilled on a tanker and some of it got into the water. Officials say the leak has been stopped and the cause is under investigation.

The waterway closed earlier this afternoon between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou near Channelview.

PREVIOUSLY: A portion of the Houston Ship Channel is closed Thursday because of a benzene spill.

The Coast Guard says it was notified around noon that about 500 gallons of benzene was spilled on a tanker and some of it got into the water. Officials say the leak has been stopped and the cause is under investigation.

Meanwhile the Ship Channel is closed to marine traffic between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou near Channelview.

There are no immediate reports of injuries. Below is the full statement released by the Coast Guard: 

Coast Guard and Harris County Hazardous Material Response Team are responding to about 500 gallons of benzene that released on the tanker Maritime Jingan while moored at Vopak Terminal Thursday afternoon.

The Vessel Traffic Service issued a closure of the Houston Ship Channel between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou effective at 12:23 p.m.

At approximately 12 p.m., Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a call from Vopak Terminal personnel that benzene had been spilled on the Maritime Jingan and that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had also been notified. 

The leak has been secured and the cause is under investigation, a small portion of the benzine entered the water.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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