Texas responders extend oil cleanup in Matagorda Bay after spill

Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:34pm EDT

A worker places oil absorbent snares on the beach on the east end of Galveston Island March 24, 2014. REUTERS/Richard Carson

A worker places oil absorbent snares on the beach on the east end of Galveston Island March 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Richard Carson

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(Reuters) - Responders from the Matagorda Incident Command Post in Port O'Connor, Texas, extended their cleanup efforts to mitigate the environmental effects of a fuel oil spill that occurred in the Houston Ship Channel last weekend, the Texas City "Y" Response Unified Command said in an update on Friday.

Members of the public are discouraged from accessing south Matagorda Island until the command announces that response operations are complete, the agency said.

The channel was shut on Saturday when a Kirby Inland Marine fuel oil barge collided with a cargo ship near the entrance to Galveston Bay, spilling 4,000 barrels, or 168,000 gallons (636,000 liters), of heavy, black fuel oil.

All restrictions on marine traffic through the channel, a critical waterway for U.S. oil shipments, were lifted on Thursday, five days after the spill, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

(This story has been refiled to correct to say fuel oil spilled, not crude oil, in first paragraph)

(Reporting by Shruti Chaturvedi in Bangalore)

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