MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - FOX10 News has learned that investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, or ATF, are also investigating that barge explosion in Mobile Wednesday night, that left three workers critically hurt.
But, there is good news about one of those workers.
Officials at USA Medical Center said Casey Tyson's condition has improved from critical to stable.
However, George Erickson's condition, and the condition of the third man hospitalized whose name is still unknown, remain critical.
WHAT'S THE LATEST ON THE INVESTIGATION?
Coast Guard officials said the investigation will go on into next week, and plenty of people are, or will be, involved in it.
Lt. Mike Clausen with the U.S. Coast Guard said, "We have more investigators coming on the scene. ATF has shown up. We also have OSHA. We also have the lawyers for both companies, ORC (Oil Recovery Company) and Kirby (the company that owns the barges) who want to take a look for evidence."
Why is ATF involved?
Clausen said, "Because there was an explosion. They have some expertise, and they want to lend their expertise: see if they can help the Coast Guard determine the explosion, see if they can assist."
There was heavy security on the site Friday, April 26. Mobile Police signed everyone going on the property in and out.
You could also see a ship here called the Safety Runner, belonging to a company called AEP River Operations.
Clausen said, "AEP Safety Runner is the tug that was on the scene during the explosion. They're unable to get underway on their own power, and they've submitted a salvage plan that's reviewed by the Coast Guard, and they will be towed, as well, to the shipyard to receive repair."
MOBILE FIRE/RESCUE INVESTIGATION
Steve Huffman with Mobile Fire-Rescue said its investigation into the fires may be finished Friday. As of Friday, however, he said there was nothing to update.
Other workers at the site will be using heavy duty elbow grease.
Before all the work is finished here, a crane will lift a piece of metal that was blown off the barge, 50 feet by 25 feet, and it's going to put it right back on that vessel.
Before all investigators start working in earnest, the Coast Guard is taking more safety steps, even though there are no signs of fire.
Clausen said, "We are also trying to gas free the barge, we have a marine chemist coming. The marine chemist will come on the barge, or gas-free the barge, or certify that the barge is gas free."
Clausen then explained the final process, "Once the lawyers and investigators are happy with evidence preservation, then we'll take the barges, monitor them, they'll get towed five miles away down the Mobile River, and they'll be scrapped for salvage metal."
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