U.S. Coast Guard Questioned For Houston Ship Channel Collision

(Houston, TX) -- Critics are pointing fingers at the Coast Guard following a four-day hearing by investigators regarding the massive oil spill this past March, the result of a collision between a ship and a barge at the Houston Ship Channel. 

According to US Coast Guard officials, nearly a fifth of the barge’s cargo (approximately 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil) spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after the crash which caused the Ship Channel to completely shut down.  Kirby Inland Marine Corp., which is the nation's largest inland barge company and owner of the barge that spilled the oil, has taken responsibility for the costs of the clean-up.  However, at a hearing earlier this week, several people went on the record saying more could have been done to prevent the crash. 

Retired Naval officer John McMichael was quoted as saying that Coast Guard officials could see the ships on radar and that the incident is hard to fathom happening in today's world.