An outbound tanker collided with two barges in the Houston Ship Channel, releasing an unknown amount of gasoline product into the water, according to authorities. The crash happened around 3:15 p.m. Friday, just east of Barbours Cut. One barge capsized. The other was damaged and leaked the product into the water. Both were carrying about 25,000 barrels of reformate. The Houston Ship Channel was closed from Light 61 to Light 75. Officials initially said about 25,000 barrels of reformate entered the water, but later said they were not sure how much was released. Reformate is a refined product that is blended with gasoline to boost octane to achieve levels needed for commercial sales. It is an extremely flammable liquid and vapor and can be fatal if it is swallowed. Reformate is toxic to marine life.
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