Union blames 2015 Houston Ship Channel collision on fuel

AP News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2016 12:07 PM
Union blames 2015 Houston Ship Channel collision on fuel

HOUSTON (AP) — A union says fuel issues likely caused a 2015 collision between two vessels that led to a chemical spill in the Houston Ship Channel, home to one of the world's largest petrochemical complexes.

The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/28ITgjV ) reports that the Houston Pilots Association is challenging a federal review that blamed pilot errors for the accident, which partially closed the 50-mile channel for four days.

The National Transportation Safety Board urged Houston officials to emphasize better communication and bridge management. Officials also cited heavy fog when the Conti Peridot struck a chemical tanker.

Union officials say the accident was most likely caused by a switch to ultralow-sulphur fuel oil, leading the Conti Peridot to unexpectedly lose power seconds before the accident.

About 88,000 gallons of flammable chemical spilled. Nobody was injured.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com