DEER PARK, Texas – The death of a dolphin that washed ashore in Seabrook days after a fire at a chemical facility in Deer Park does not appear to have been the result of the incident, officials said Monday.
A photo of the dolphin’s carcass went viral after it was posted Saturday on the Galveston County News Facebook page with a caption that read, in part, “Coincidence? Maybe.”
In a statement Sunday, officials at Intercontinental Terminals Co. confirmed the discovery of the dead animal and said investigators with the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network investigated the death to determine if it was related to the chemical fire and spill into the Houston Ship Channel.
Adam Adams, of the Environmental Protection Agency, said that the dead dolphin and another dolphin that had become stranded were both evaluated by the network.
"The Marine Mammal Stranding Network assessed the situation and determined that those mammals, those dolphins, were not impacted from this incident," Adams said.
According to ITC officials, a total of two turtles, eight birds and nine fish have been confirmed dead as a result of the incident. Ten birds have been rescued, Adams said.
Nearly all of the 15 tanks in a yard at the ITC facility in Deer Park were destroyed in a blaze that burned for nearly a week. A breach in a containment wall allowed chemicals from the facility to spill into waterways surrounding the storage facility.
According to ITC officials, more than 61,000 barrels of oily water mix have been removed from waterways. More than 100,000 feet of containment boom are deployed in the area, officials said.