CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) – A dredger in a Texas port encountered a natural gas pipeline on Friday and triggered an explosion that sent six people to the hospital and missing four more, authorities said.
The US Coast Guard said the four missing were crew members of the dredger Waymon L Boyd. The explosion occurred around 8 a.m. in the port of Corpus Christi.
Corpus Christi Fire Chief Robert Rocha said the firefighters “encountered severe fire and smoke conditions” upon arrival. By late Friday morning, the fire supply line was shut off and it went out, Rocha said.
Rescue workers respond to a pipeline explosion near Lantana and Up River Road in Corpus Christi, Texas on Friday, August 21, 2020. Several people were hospitalized after a pipeline exploded in the Corpus Christi port and refinery district on Friday, officials said.(Courtney Sacco / Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP)
Coast Guard Lt. Marina Lawrence said the ship encountered an underwater pipeline. The port of Corpus Christi said in a statement that it was a natural gas pipeline and that operators had isolated it.
Rocha said that of the six people rushed to hospital, one was in serious condition. He said the fire department took four people to the hospital and the US Coast Guard took two.
Pipeline explosion near grain port in Corpus Christi @callerdotcom pic.twitter.com/hhoXV0Ae7d
– courtney sacco (@Caller_Courtney) August 21, 2020
Texas Governor Greg Abbott made a statement saying the state is working closely with government agencies in the area and that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality monitors air quality.
Rocha said most of the heavy smoke is blowing into a rural area.
The National Transportation Safety Board said they are investigating the accident.
Explanation of the pipeline explosion in Corpus Christi: pic.twitter.com/Uy9TG9D2Or
– Governor Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) August 21, 2020
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