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1 dead, 1 missing after fuel barge fire off Texas coast

Officials said the explosion happened while a tugboat with the barge was pulling in its anchor


Associated Press

PORT ARANSAS, Texas — A barge loaded with crude oil caught fire off the Texas coast, leaving one crew member dead and another missing.

A spokesman for the city of Port Aransas, Rick Adams, confirmed the death Friday and said the search continues for the missing crew member. The names of the victims were not immediately released.

A Coast Guard Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin and HC-144 Ocean Sentry are searching for two missing crew members. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)
A Coast Guard Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin and HC-144 Ocean Sentry are searching for two missing crew members. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

Capt. Bobby Grumbles of the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots Association says the explosion happened while a tugboat with the barge was pulling in its anchor about 4:30 a.m. Friday about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from Port Aransas.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known. No pilot was on board when the explosion occurred.

Adams says the barge had about 133,000 barrels of crude oil on it but didn't lose the load.

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