Houston Ship Channel Opened After Refinery Explosion

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, March 06, 2016
Houston Ship Channel Courtesy Patrick Feller from Humble, Texas

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port has reopened the Houston Ship Channel from Cotton Patch Bayou to Sims Bayou after a precautionary safety zone had been put in place due to an explosion at Pasadena Refining System, Inc., Saturday morning.

At 10:30 a.m., a Sector Houston-Galveston watchstander observed smoke rising in the sky over the tree-line outside an office window and coordinated with Vessel Traffic Service Houston-Galveston watchstander's, who observed the smoke coming from the facility and found other responders were already enroute.

The Captain of the Port closed the channel at 10:40 a.m., until Coast Guard hazmat teams were able to investigate the scene for any impact from possible chemical release in the air or any impact on the waterways.

The facility reports that the fire is out and air monitoring has been conducted by Pasadena Refining and Harris County Pollution Control, with no indications of any offsite impacts.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Agencies on scene were:

The City of Houston Fire Department
Harris County Emergency Management
Houston Emergency Management
Harris County Hazmat
Coast Guard Waterfront Facilities
 

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