The U.S. Coast Guard said a section of the Houston Ship Channel was briefly shut on Wednesday following the release of up to 23,000 gallons of naphtha.
The Coast Guard closed a 1.5-mile (2.4-km) section of the upper ship channel from Light 152 to Greens Port Industrial Park for less than two hours or so after a representative of tank barge operator Kirby Inland Marine reported that a cargo tank on one of its barges had been damaged.
The Chevron facility where the barge was docked told workers to shelter where they were, but that was later lifted.
The Houston Ship Channel was reopened in the afternoon, a statement from the Coast Guard said.
The barge was carrying about 30,000 barrels of naphtha, or over 1 million gallons, and the impacted tank contained approximately 5,000 barrels, it said.
Most of the product was likely to evaporate in about three hours, the Coast Guard said.
(Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)