The US Coast Guard said a one-mile stretch of the Houston Ship Channel, part of the Port of Houston, will remain closed for four days as efforts continue to extricate 15,000gal of beef fat that leaked into the water on 4 January.

Coast Guard spokesperson Richard Brahm said that shipping had not been affected.

The channel was due to reopen on 6 January but only 25% of the clean up had been completed by 5 January.

About 250,000gal of beef fat spilled out of an on-shore storage tank and entered into the waterway through a storm drain, the fat then congealed owing to the cold temperatures.

Emergency crews and the Texas General Land Office are working to contain the spill and six boats have been deployed in the affected area.