3 hurt as fuel barges explode, catch fire in Ala.
MOBILE, Ala. — Firefighters in Mobile, Ala. and the Coast Guard responded Wednesday night to four explosions on two fuel barges in the Mobile River in Alabama that left three people injured.
Fire and rescue crews were responding to two explosions and a fire at the natural gas barges when a third explosion occurred, Mobile Fire and Rescue spokesman Steve Huffman said. A fourth explosion was then reported just before 10 p.m. CDT.
Three people were hospitalized with burns. Information on their conditions was not immediately available.
Fire officials said they planned to let the barges burn into the night because the situation was too unstable.
The Carnival Triumph, the cruise shop that became disabled in the Gulf of Mexico last February before it was towed to Mobile's port, was evacuated, the Mobile Press-Register reported.
The explosions happened in an area of the river east of downtown Mobile, Huffman said. U.S. Coast Guard Petty Ofc. Carlos Vega said the initial blast took place in a ship channel near the George C. Wallace Tunnel — which carries traffic from Interstate 10 under the Mobile River.
The explosions rattled the windows of houses in downtown, blew doors open in the Spanish Fort area and aftershocks were reported in Bay Minette and Fort Morgan, the Press-Register reported. Video from WALA-TV (http://bit.ly/15NEYJl) shows flames engulfing a large section of the barge.
Coast Guard officials were heading to the scene and the cause of the explosion was not immediately clear, Vega said.
The explosion comes two months after the 900-foot-long Triumph was towed to Mobile after becoming disabled during a cruise by an engine room fire, leaving thousands of passengers to endure cold food, unsanitary conditions and power outages. The ship is still undergoing repairs there.
Earlier this month, it was dislodged from its mooring by a windstorm that also caused two shipyard workers to fall into Mobile Bay. While one worker was rescued, the other's body was pulled from the water more than a week later.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Riots in Baltimore raise questions about police response
- Riot erupts in Baltimore after funeral for man hurt in police custody
- Storm knocks out power to New Orleans airport for hours
- Study a surprise: Commercial bees unfazed by pesticides
- Obamacare contraception ruling thrown out
- Man formally charged with murder of Indiana student
- Magma chamber spied under Yellowstone volcano
- Experts met in Nepal week ago to discuss earthquake they knew would rip into Kathmandu
- U.S. lowers fluoride in water; too much causing splotchy teeth
- Colorado movie theater shooting trial begins
- Top Tulsa sheriff’s aide quits under fire