Oil Spills Close Corpus Christi Harbor

Friday, June 02, 2006
The Coast Guard is responding to oil spills at the Valero docks and the Citgo facility located in the Corpus Christi Inner Harbor early this morning. Approximately 168,000 gallons of oil has spilled into the Corpus Christi Ship Channel just west of the Harbor Bridge. Captain of the Port, Capt. John Korn, U.S. Coast Guard, closed the channel and no vessel traffic is being allowed in the harbor. Responders from Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi are on scene overseeing the containment and clean-up of the oil-spills. The Coast Guard received a call from the motor tanker Matt Jacobs of a fire in a 125-foot diameter storm containment tank next to the ship. According to the report, lightning had struck the tank and ignited the waste oil it contained. The resulting fire threaten the ship and the 28 crewmembers of the Matt Jacobs were safely evacuated by the tug boats Discovery and Thor. The Refinery Terminal Fire Company (RTFC) was on scene to contain the fire. "The Coast Guard would like to extend its gratitude to the crews of the two tugs for their quick action in evacuating the crew of the tanker" Korn said. Initial reports indicate that oil leaked into the dock's containment area, which overflowed due to heavy rain. Coast Guard Secotor Corpus Christi is investigating the cause of the incidents.

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