Barge leaking oil in Galveston Bay after collision

TEXAS CITY, Texas (AP) - Officials say a barge carrying 924,000 gallons of fuel oil has collided with another ship in the Houston ship channel and is leaking oil.

The U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement Saturday that it received a call at about 12:30 p.m. from the captain of the 585-foot ship Summer Wind reporting its collision with a barge.

The barge was being towed from Texas City to Bolivar at the time. Kirby Inland Marine, owner of the tow vessel Miss Susan and the barges, is working with the Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office at the scene, according to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard did not give an estimate of how much oil had leaked into Galveston Bay.

A sheen of oil was been reported on the water, but it was unknown how much oil had leaked, the statement said. Six crew members of the tow vessel are all in stable condition.

Texas City Homeland Security director Bruce Clawson told The Daily News in Galveston that the barge sank and that there is no danger to the community.

A segment of the Houston ship channel was closed to traffic, the Coast Guard said. Texas City is about 40 miles southeast of downtown Houston.

A man who answered the phone at Kirby Inland Marine Saturday declined to give his name and said he wasn't able to comment.

On its Facebook page, Texas City Emergency Management said the dike and all parks on the water are closed until further notice.

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