(Reuters) - The Houston Ship channel was briefly closed between the Lynchburg Ferry Crossing and Carpenters Bayou following a spill of about 500 gallons of benzene from a tanker that was moored at the Vopak terminal in Deer Park, Texas, on Thursday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The leak has been secured and the cause is under investigation, the agency said in a statement.

The Coast Guard said the channel reopened to all vessels as of 2:26 p.m.

(Reporting by Nithin Prasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sandra Maler)