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March 26th, 2010

Coast Guard Responds to Barge Explosion -Superior Docks, Ingleside, TX

Coast Guard crews are responding to a barge explosion that occurred at Superior Docks in Ingleside, Texas on Thursday.

Two crewmembers were treated for minor injuries and released.  Bystanders rescued one man, who was thrown into the water when the barge exploded.

A tugboat captain reported to the local Coast Guard that he had just witnessed a major explosion at Superior Docks.  The witness stated that the blast was so strong, it blew his boat’s windows out.

Coast Guard inspectors and investigators are currently on scene, assessing the damage and searching for possible pollution.  The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

The accident happened while two men were welding on the crude oil barge, which had trace amounts of crude on board, when a spark likely ignited fumes, causing the explosion at the Superior Crude docks.

No measurable amount of crude spilled into the Intracoastal Waterway according to the Texas General Land Office.

Given the potential for harm, it is somewhat surprising that no one was killed or seriously injured, and that very little crude oil was spilled.  The force of the explosion did throw one of the welders into the bay.

One 20 by 50 foot oil sheen is all the oil that was seen according to Coast Guard workers.

Yesterday, the workers were trying to remove the dismantled pieces of the barge, owned by Third Coast Towing.

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