A mile-long stretch of the Houston Ship Channel was closed to through traffic on Tuesday because of a sunken tugboat, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
The channel, one of the nation's main shipping routes for oil and petrochemical products, was closed near the Washburn Tunnel after the 77-foot-long tugboat Vecturian sank, said Coast Guard Lt. Robert Schoen.
Schoen said the cause of the accident was not yet known, but that the vessel, owned by Capital Towing, was slowly leaking the 25,000 gallons of diesel fuel that was in its tanks. He said two people were rescued from the boat.
Schoen said 2,000 feet of containment booms were being used to hold the leaking diesel in place, but that 1,000 yards of water was covered with a light petroleum sheen.