MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Significant damage surrounds the fuel barge explosion site. A series of seven explosions occurred beginning around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 24, critically injuring three people.
Just 24 hours after two barges were in flames on the Mobile River, the scene was quiet.
According to the owners of the barges, they were still at the Oil Recovery Company on Thursday.
Booms surrounded the now mangled vessels. James Yaborough with Tow Boat US said it is standard procedure for an accident like this.
"The boom is to contain any contaminates that come from the fire of the fuel barges," said Yarborough.
The barges' owner, Kirby Inland Marine, said two unmanned tank barges were getting cleaned when they caught fire and exploded.
According to the company, the residual cargo being cleaned out of the barges was natural gasoline.
OSHA, Mobile Fire-Rescue and the U.S. Coast Guard are all trying to pin down the exact cause of the explosions.
"The Coast Guard has lead investigation on the role of the barge explosion. What the preliminary investigation is showing is that they were cleaning the barges, and during the cleaning of the barges, a spark was introduced into the barge which created an explosion," said Lt. Mike Clausen.
Kirby released a statement Thursday saying in part:
"Kirby is fully engaged and working with the Coast Guard and oil recovery officials in determining the cause of the incident."
Kirby has deployed a strike team and activated outside salvage and firefighter contractors.
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