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Archive for Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oil spilled at port as ships collide

January 24, 2010

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— As much as 450,000 gallons of crude oil may have spilled in a southeast Texas port when two vessels collided Saturday morning, but it’s unclear whether that much actually leaked from the damaged tank, a U.S. Coast Guard official said.

No one was injured in the collision, but the Port of Port Arthur was closed and the nearby area was evacuated for about seven hours.

Coast Guard officials would not say late Saturday when the size of the oil spill would be determined or how long the cleanup operation would take.

According to Petty Officer Richard Brahm, the ship’s crew members said they pumped 69,000 barrels from the damaged tank that carried 80,000 barrels, so they have 11,000 barrels — about 450,000 gallons — that they can’t account for.

Several local officials said only 1,000 barrels, or about 42,000 gallons, of oil had been spilled into the water.

Brahm acknowledged that it doesn’t look like hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude was in the water. He said some might still be in the damaged tank.

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