Published: Sun, October 22, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Search for crew after barge fire off Texas coast

Search for crew after barge fire off Texas coast

Coast Guard spokeswoman Jennae Steinmiller says that emergency responders are also working to contain the spread of oil, which had reached the shoreline of Mustang Island, a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico about 14 miles (22 kilometers) from the site of Friday morning's explosion.

Search-and-rescue crews are searching for one missing barge crew members that went missing after the fire broke out.

A barge loaded with crude oil caught fire off the Texas coast, leaving one crew member dead and another missing.

The captain of the 127'x37'x20', 6,140-hp tugboat Buster Bouchard sent a mayday call at 4:35 a.m. picked up by Coast Guard watchstanders at Corpus Christi, reporting the barge B.


"A unified command consisting of the Coast Guard, Texas General Land Office and a representative from Gallagher, who is representing Bouchard Transportation who owns the barge, has been set up to manage the incident". A 45' response boat from the Port Aransas Coast Guard station was launched, while a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew lifted off from Corpus Christi.

"The Port of Corpus Christi's fireboat along with other local assets are on scene and attempting to extinguish the fire".

"Air monitoring has been completed by the state and confirmed to be no threat to the public", the Coast said.

The barge, carrying 140,000 barrels of crude oil, was crossing a sand bar with assistance from a tug boat at the time of the explosion. "There are initial reports of some oil in the water". The Coast Guard safely evacuated six crew members from the vessel.

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