Here's how to report strong odor after barge crash in Houston Ship Channel

By Megan Kennedy - Digital News Editor

LEAGUE CITY, Texas - Residents are reporting strong gasoline odor Saturday after a barge crash in the Houston Ship Channel on Friday

The City of League City said a hotline is available for residents to report the smell and said anyone who is feeling sick should call 911. 

To report the odor, the city said call 281-757-3017.

Friendswood officials said tests were completed for Friendswood and League City, and said the results were "good with no detections of actionable levels of chemicals found." The city said there is no danger to the public.

READ MORE: Ship collides with barges, causing massive gas product spill in Houston Ship Channel

The crash happened after an outbound tanker collided with two barges in the Houston Ship Channel, releasing an unknown amount of gasoline product into the water, according to authorities.

One barge capsized. The other was damaged and leaked the product into the water. Both were carrying about 25,000 barrels of reformate.

Reformate is a refined product that is blended with gasoline to boost octane to achieve levels needed for commercial sales. It is an extremely flammable liquid and vapor and can be fatal if it is swallowed. Reformate is toxic to marine life.

 

The City of League City said air monitoring is being conducted by Bayport Channel Collision Reponse, which provided the report below.

 

The Galveston County Health District released the following statement on Saturday: 

The Galveston County Health District continues to work with our partners to monitor potential impact of Friday’s Galveston Bay barge accident.

“Some residents are reporting a strong smell of gasoline and there is clearly an odor in the air in some areas of the county. However, air monitoring reports for Galveston County show no toxic levels at this time,” said Galveston County Local Health Authority Dr. Philip Keiser. 

Our concern remains for the health and safety of the community. Some residents are reporting a strong smell of gasoline. A gasoline smell does not necessarily mean there is a health hazard or harmful particles in the air.

If you are experiencing the smell of gasoline and are concerned, it is recommended that you use your best judgement, stay inside and contact your healthcare provider. 

Symptoms may include coughing, difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, dizziness and burning, irritation and redness to the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Some members of the community may be more susceptible than others. The elderly, children, pregnant and those with respiratory issues or weakened immune systems may be especially affected. 

We recommend you contact your healthcare provider if you experience any symptoms. Pets may also be impacted and experience similar symptoms. If care is needed, please contact your veterinarian. 

GCHD has established a hotline for health-related questions. If you’d like to speak to a representative, please call 409-938-7221.

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