Oct 21, 2009 10:49 AM by Associated Press

Tanker spills oil after collision off Texas

The U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday responded to a tanker collision in the Gulf of Mexico 40 miles off Texas that the ship's captain said led to an 18,000 gallon oil spill.

"The leak has been secured and there were no injuries reported on either vessel," the Coast Guard said in a written release.

The 820-foot Liberian-flagged ship Krymsk was said to be stable after sustaining damage to a fuel tank when an offshore supply vessel collided with it.

"Action was taken by the crew of the Krymsk to transfer oil from the damaged fuel tank to a separate undamaged fuel tank," the Coast Guard said. "The tank ship's captain reports that approximately 18,000 gallons of oil was spilled; a Coast Guard team is underway to confirm this initial report."

"Both on-water and aerial assets have been deployed to conduct oil spill response operations," the agency said, adding that it was investigating the cause of the accident.

While seemingly large, 18,000 gallons would dilute quickly in open waters. By comparison, the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska released 11 million gallons of oil.

The accident happened 40 miles southeast of Galveston on Tuesday night.



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