Update: The fire has reportedly reduced in size by approximately 30 percent, and there are no reports of oil in the water. The Coast Guard says that potential pockets of crude oil previously spotted have been determined to be particulate ash from the liquefied natural gas burn off.
Original: A LPG pipeline in a bayou near New Orleans erupted in a massive fireball Tuesday night after being struck by a tug and barge.
The U.S. Coast Guard said that it is responding after crews received a report that the 47-foot tug Shanon E. Settoon pushing a 154-foot oil barge allided with a pipeline at about 6 p.m., Tuesday near Bayou Perot 30 miles south of New Orleans.
All crew members were able to exit the tug, but the captain reportedly suffered second to third-degree degree burns, the Coast Guard said. The statement added that the vessel was on fire and there are reports of oil in the water. Oil spill response ES&H has been hired mitigate any damage from the spill.
“We are aggressively responding with our state and local partners to mitigate the fire and prevent any potential impacts from oil that entered the water, ” said Cmdr. Russ Bowen, incident commander, Sector New Orleans.
An update from the Coast Guard Wednesday said there are 2,215 barrels of crude on the barge and approximately 1,000 gallons of diesel on the tug. A second update from the Coast Guard said that approximately 2,200 barrels of crude oil remain on board the barge and has not been compromised.
A one mile by 75 foot-wide sheen was reported in the vicinity of the tug and barge earlier.
ES&H is currently on scene and has mobilized 7,218 feet of containment boom and 6,000 feet of 18-inch containment boom, one cabin boat, five responder class boats, one Marco skimmer and two 24-foot express hull vessels in response to the incident. The 160-foot Coast Guard Cutter Axe and crew is also on scene.
The liquid petroleum gas pipeline is owned by Chevron and has since been shut off.
The Shanon E. Settoon is owned and operated by Settoon Towing. The 700-hp tug was built in 1975 and is based out of Houma, La.
Additional Photos from Wednesday, March 13, 2013: