The Latest: Company says damaged gasoline tank stable

The Latest on fire damage at a petrochemical storage facility that led to a partial closure of the Houston Ship Channel (all times local):

12:30 p.m.

Officials say an emergency dike has been repaired and a damaged petrochemical tank stabilized during cleanup of leaking oil products that closed part of the Houston Ship Channel.

Authorities are still trying to determine what caused a March 17 fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company's Deer Park facility that damaged or destroyed several petrochemical tanks.

ITC spokesman Brent Weber says some tanks leaked oil products and a containment area was breached Friday, but was fixed by Sunday.

Weber says the company is no longer pumping flammable pyrolysis gasoline out of a damaged tank because that tank is now secured. He says it did not leak any pygas but that there was a risk of toxic fumes.

The Coast Guard says a stretch of nearby Houston Ship Channel that closed Friday remains shut down with more than 50 vessels delayed.


11:45 a.m.

Officials say efforts continue to drain a damaged tank that contains flammable gas following a massive fire at a Houston-area petrochemical complex, after other tanks leaked product prompting a partial closure of the Houston Ship Channel.

Intercontinental Terminals Company says pumping began Saturday afternoon to extract about 20,000 barrels of pyrolysis gasoline, known as pygas, from the tank at the Deer Park facility. Vacuum trucks are removing other liquid from a ditch.

A section of the Houston Ship Channel remains closed Sunday after products from other tanks at the facility leaked. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kelly Parker says the Guard hopes to reopen the waterway Monday morning.

Parker says 52 vessels are waiting to move, but the channel won't reopen until air and water quality has improved.


This story has been corrected to show the damaged tank is not leaking pygas and was not the reason for the closure of the Houston Ship Channel.