Explosions on 2 Barges in Mobile, Ala., Lead to Evacuations, 3 Injuries

Multiple explosions on two fuel barges on the Mobile River injured three people Wednesday night. The blasts occurred near the shipyard location of  the crippled Carnival cruise line ship that drew national headlines  in February when it lost power in the Gulf of Mexico and had to be pulled into the port by tugboats. 

The Mobile fire department said the three victims were taken to a local hospital and treated for burns, but the status of their condition is unknown.

There were four blasts on the two barges, leading to the evacuation of areas along the river. A shipmaker on the east bank, Austal, was partially evacuated as fire burned nearby.

“Planning to let it burn,” the fire department said on Twitter. “Still too unstable.”

“The barge was an empty, compressed natural-gas barge that was at the dock for cleaning,” the Coast Guard said in a statement, indicating that a one-nautical-mile safety zone had been established around the barge.

The agency was investigating the incident.

Fire department spokesman Steve Huffman told CNN that authorities had not determined what caused the blasts.

The Carnival Triumph cruise ship had been undergoing repairs at the BAE Shipyard in the Port of Mobile since an engine fire in February left it crippled and adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

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