By Jite Eriabie
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for two missing crew members following an explosion and fire onboard a barge loaded with crude oil off Port Aransas, Texas on Friday.
A vessel with the Corpus Christi Fire Department was fighting to extinguish the fire.
The barge is located approximately three miles from the Port Aransas, Texas, jetties, according to the Coast Guard.
There were a total of eight crew members on board, according to reports.
The barge was carrying 140,000 barrels of crude oil to a refinery when the incident occurred, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.
The fire is believed to have started about 4:30 a.m. local time.
The articulated tug-barge (ATB) unit belongs to Bouchard Transportation, the United States’ largest independently-owned ocean-going petroleum barge company.
A safety zone has been established surrounding the vessel. There are reports of minor pollution in the water.
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