Access to Port of Corpus Christi closed after oil barge blast leaves one dead, one missing

Access to Port of Corpus Christi closed after oil barge blast leaves one dead, one missing

A crew member died and another was missing on Friday after an explosion and fire on an oil barge off of Texas, according to Reuters.

Six of the eight-person crew were rescued without suffering serious injuries.

The barge, carrying a load of 133,000 barrels of crude to a Corpus Christi refinery, was being towed by the tug boat Buster Bouchard when a fire broke out leading to the explosion at around 4.35am.

It was about three miles offshore between Port Aransas and Rockport at the time.

The fire burned itself out before being extinguished.

US Coast Guard (USCG) said there were reports of oil in the water although there is not believed to have been a hull breach.

A 1,000-yard safety zone was set up around the affected area to keep out incoming traffic.

The Port of Corpus Christi has been closed until the barge can be moved and the shipping channel can be declared safe.

The tugboat was disconnected from the barge and at anchor.

USCG and the Texas General Land Office were investigating the blast.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.

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