"It is an extremely serious spill,” said Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer. “There is a large quantity, it will spread.”
Coast Guard officials believe some 160,000 gallons of heavy oil have already spilled into the water. The barge contained 924,000 gallons of fuel oil.
The barge was being towed by the Miss Susan from Texas City, Texas, to Bolivar, Texas, at the time of the collision. All six crew members of the Miss Susan were accounted for and two were treated at the hospital for hydrogen sulfide exposure.
The accident has shut down marine traffic in the channel from the Intracoastal Waterway to lighter buoy 32, as well as the Bolivar ferry.