Ammonia leaked from a vessel in the Houston Ship Channel on Friday evening, sending four workers to the hospital and forcing the closure of the channel and nearby bridges.

The tanker Sombeke was being refueled by the tugboat Trigger at the Houston Ammonia Terminal when a gasket on the Sombeke blew, causing the anhydrous ammonia leak. Four crewmembers from the tugboat were exposed.

Coast Guard officials reported that the channel, as well as the Interstate 610 and Beltway 8 bridges, were closed about 90 minutes. Nearby residents were asked to remain in their homes.

Anhydrous ammonia is a gas that’s used as fertilizer. According to a hazardous materials team, the leak was considered minor.

Workers on ships and in ports and refineries that come in close contact with substances such as ammonia are at high risk for chemical exposure injuries. If you’ve been injured in a chemical incident, contact our law firm  Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers for legal assistance.