Environmental concerns after a gas barge collision in the Gulf Coast

The barge carrying thousands of gallons of fuel collided with another barge, releasing toxic fumes and potentially impacting nearby residents.
1:46 | 05/11/19

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Transcript for Environmental concerns after a gas barge collision in the Gulf Coast
Now to those boats tossed and turned in the Houston shipping channel. One leaking a chemical into the water. Nasty fumes in the air this morning. ABC's Zachary kiesch is there. Good morning to you, Zachary. Reporter: Eva, it's one of the busiest ports in the country and you can't see it from here but there are dozens of commercial ships out in the gulf that can't get in and do business as usual because the channel is closed again. Powerful new images from the gulf coast after a collision nearly split a barge in two. That barge is now leaking a toxic gasoline blend into the Houston ship channel. Another barge capsized from the impact. Both vessels were carrying 25,000 barrels of fuel. From the sky and from the water, you can see a layer of sheen inching closer to land. The fuel blend known as reformate is colorless, flammable and toxic. It smells like gasoline. Reporter: The big concern now is the environment. We know the air is coming this way. The flow is going this way on the water, so we're going to monitor everything. Reporter: Officials say this map shows how the fumes could potentially drift inland and directly impact residents. We need to know what the dangers are in the water. If there's gas, we can't come in here. Reporter: At this point, officials haven't announced the cause. It's unbelievable with all the radar and stuff, you would think that this wouldn't happen. Reporter: The crash is the third major incident to shut down sections of the waterway in recent months. In March these chemical storage tanks in deer park caught fire and burned for days. Then in April, an explosion ignited a tank full of chemicals at this plant in Crosby. As I mentioned there, we don't know the cause and we also don't know how much damage has been done. We'll learn more later today. Whit. All right, Zachary kiesch in galveston for us, thanks so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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