Ship channel remains closed; draining of gas tank continues

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2019 By The Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Officials say efforts continue to drain a damaged tank that contains flammable gas following a massive fire at a Houston-area petrochemical complex, after other tanks leaked product prompting a partial closure of the Houston Ship Channel.

Intercontinental Terminals Company says pumping began Saturday afternoon to extract about 20,000 barrels of pyrolysis gasoline, known as pygas, from the tank at the Deer Park facility. Vacuum trucks are removing other liquid from a ditch.

A section of the Houston Ship Channel remains closed Sunday after products from other tanks at the facility leaked. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker says the Guard hopes to reopen the waterway Monday morning.

Parker says 52 vessels are waiting to move, but the channel won't reopen until air and water quality has improved.

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This story has been corrected to show the damaged tank is not leaking pygas and was not the reason for the closure of the Houston Ship Channel.

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