No timetable for reopening Texas ship channel following leak

HOUSTON (AP) — Officials say there’s no timetable for reopening a portion of the Houston Ship Channel, one of the busiest waterways in the country, after another setback caused flammable chemicals to seep into the water near a fire-ravaged petrochemical tank farm.

Coast Guard Capt. Kevin Oditt said during a news conference Saturday that work is underway to contain and absorb benzene and other contaminants after a dike failed adjacent to the farm operated by the Intercontinental Terminals Company.

The Coast Guard couldn’t immediately say how many ships have been rerouted or delayed as a result of the leak that occurred Friday.

The fire began Sunday, March 17 and was extinguished Wednesday, but flared again on two occasions.

Nearby residents were told Thursday to remain indoors after elevated levels of benzene were detected.

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