Barge accident closes Houston channel
A tug pushing three barges loaded with scrap metal crashed into an electrical tower along the Houston Ship Channel Sunday morning, prompting the U.S. Coast Guard to temporarily shut down much of the Houston Ship channel.
The Coast Guard has stopped all inbound and outbound traffic to the Houston Ship Channel and established a 19-mile safety zone around the accident. The line is owned by Centerpoint Energy.
|The Coast Guard responded to a downed power line by closing the Houston Ship Channel Sunday.|
The cause of the incident is under investigation. The Coast Guard and the responsible party are working on a savage plan.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Richard Brahm said a large barge-mounted crane would attempt to remove the partially collapsed electrical tower and reopen the waterway by Tuesday evening.
The Coast Guard said the towing vessel Safety Quest was pushing three barges loaded with scrap metal when it allided with the Baytown highline number 197. The highline tower structure is being held up by one of the barges.
Brahm said work was being performed on the cables carried by the tower at the time of the accident and there was no power in the lines. No injuries reported.
The Coast Guard said crew from the towboat were evacuated onto another vessel and moved to a safe area. Drug and alcohol testing will be administered.
The Houston Chronicle said the accident happened at a narrow point in the waterway, leaving three-fourths of the port’s terminals inaccessible.