Houston Ship Channel terminal reopened after benzene spill

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The U.S. Coast Guard and Harris County Hazardous Material Response Team worked together to contain around 500 gallons of benzene released on the tanker Maritime Jingan while it was moored at Vopak Terminal on Thursday afternoon. The ship channel has since reopened.

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

Vopak Terminal staff reported the benzene spill to USCG Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders at around 12 p.m. Thursday. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department was also notified of the spill.

The leak has been secured and the cause is under investigation. A small portion of the benzene entered the water.