Ships Moving inbound on Houston Ship Channel: U.S. Coast Guard

The barges were loaded with the gasoline blend stock Reformate which is leaking into the water officials said

One barge was severely damaged and another capsized following a collision with a 755-foot (230-m) tanker in the Houston Ship Channel near Bayport, Texas, that spilled about 9,000 gallons of gasoline into waywater, officials said.

No injuries were reported.

Friday's collision involved the tanker Genesis River and a tug transporting two barges carrying more than 2 million gallons of reformate, an oil-refining byproduct used to make gasoline.

Reformate is colourless, flammable and toxic to touch, inhale or ingest. "(T) he first priority of the unified command is public safety", it said.

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The United States Coast Guard said it will investigate the crash, adding that an investigation is already underway into what led up to the incident.

Crews are working to remove the gasoline product from the barges.

One-way (outbound) ship and two-way barge traffic has been restored, according to authorities, although a partial closure of the ship channel remains in effect.

Officials say the spilled product can be hazardous.

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The U.S. Lope Guard confirmed the accident, which took discipline about 3:30 p.m. local time, in the Houston Ship Channel, advance Bayport, Texas.

Residents in Seabrook are reporting smells of petroleum coming from the Bay.

Residents in the coastal community of League City could smell a strong odor of gasoline Friday night but air monitors did not detect chemicals in the air, the city said in a statement.

The 52-mile long Houston Ship Channel connects the country's number one export region and the Americas' largest petrochemical manufacturing complex to domestic and foreign markets via the Gulf of Mexico.

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There were 33 vessels waiting to move inbound and 27 waiting to exit on Saturday afternoon, the group said Saturday afternoon, with 91 vessels at anchor.

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