TEXAS CITY An audio recording reveals the captains of the two vessels that collided in the Houston Ship Channel were aware they were perilously close to one another, but still failed to avert a spill that dumped 168,000 gallons of oil into the water.
The recording was released to the Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/1ommtpw ) by the U.S. Coast Guard and indicates the captains spoke too late to avoid the March 22 collision in the crowded waterway.
The collision near Texas City closed one of the nation's busiest seaports for several days and sent a stream of dense, sticky oil into the Gulf of Mexico and southward along the Texas coast.
Cleanup efforts continue but the oil has killed dolphins, sea turtles, sea birds and other wildlife.
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