American Oil Tanker Spills in Panama Canal

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There is a 4,000 barrel spill in the Panama Canal by the American tanker Texaco Connecticut. A crash tore a 24-foot gash in the hull, which leaked oil as the ship travelled 30 miles to its destination. Subsequent ships passing through the waters quickly dispersed the oil. At one point oil washed ashore along 30 percent of the coastline of Barro Colorado Island, the Smithsonian Institution's 4000-acre biological preserve in Gatun Lake.


Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 3, "The Torch," August 1980, p. 2.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


June 7, 1980


  • Petroleum industry
  • Accidents
  • Oil spills


  • Barro Colorado Nature Monument (Panama)
  • Barro Colorado Island (Panama)

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