2 fuel barges on Alabama's Mobile River explode; 3 hurt
By Dave Alsup and Chandler Friedman CNN
10:47 PM, Apr 24, 2013
5:37 AM, Apr 25, 2013
(CNN) -- A fire broke out on Alabama's Mobile River on Wednesday night after two barges loaded with natural gas exploded, a city fire department spokesman said.
The Mobile Fire-Rescue Department, on its official Twitter feed, reported that it had "units on the scene on east side of Mobile River where a fuel barge has exploded and is on fire." Minutes later, the fire department issued an update stating that two barges had exploded.
Fire department spokesman R. Steve Huffman told CNN that three people who were burned were transported to a local hospital.
There were at least three explosions tied to the incident, Mobile Fire-Rescue noted around 9:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. ET) on Twitter.
A 1-mile safety zone has been set up around the barges, U.S. Coast Guard Cmdr. Eric King said. Authorities had closed the ship channel and were letting the fires burn.
The fires burned near the docking area of the Carnival Triumph, he added. The Triumph has been based 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 with more than 4,200 people aboard.
For four days, tugboats guided the disabled ship into the port as passengers complained about miserable conditions onboard.