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Texas ship channel shut after barge hits power tower

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • No injuries were reported
  • The cause of the crash is under investigation

(CNN) -- A barge stuck an electrical tower in the Houston Ship Channel Sunday, knocking down a power line and stopping marine traffic, officials said.

All inbound and outbound traffic to the channel has stopped, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement, adding that power to the line has been secured and poses no danger to the public.

A towing vessel, Safety Quest, was pushing three barges loaded with scrap metal when it slammed into the tower in Baytown, Texas, around 6 a.m., officials said. The structure is currently being propped up by one of the barges.

Crew members were evacuated, the Coast Guard said. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Images from CNN affiliate KHOU showed the barge pressed against the metal of the tower, which crumbled along the top of the vessel. The Coast Guard said it was working on a salvage plan.

The Houston Ship Channel is part of the Port of Houston, a major U.S. sea port.