Update: In a statement posted later on Friday, the Coast Guard said that fter the barge was removed from the scene and taken to a secure location, offloading operations were conducted and completed at approximately 3 p.m. Friday. The crude oil from the barge has been offloaded into a separate barge. At no time was any pollution observed coming from the barge, the Coast Guard said.
As the residual liquid petroleum gas in the pipeline dwindles, the flaring operations will continue.
Original: Response operations continued Friday for a raging fire in a Louisianna bayou about 30 miles south of New Orleans, three days after a tug and barge allided with a LPG pipeline.
An update from the U.S. Coast Guard said Chevron has begun flaring the pipeline to clear it of residual liquid petroleum gas.
Late Thursday afternoon, personnel from T&T Salvage were able to separate the tank barge from the tug wreckage. Meanwhile, the Todd Michael spud barge is on scene for cooling operations.
The Coast Guard has placed temporary flight restrictions over the airspace near the fire and responders have deployed 10,400 feet of boom around the tank barge to contain any possible pollution risks.
As gCaptain reported previously, the fire started when the tug, Shanon E. Settoon, struck the LPG pipeline while pushing a barge Tuesday night. The barge, carrying 2,215 barrels of crude on the barge, was not compromised in the incident, but the tug seems to be a complete loss. All crew members got off safefly, but the captain reportedly suffered second to third-degree degree burns.
A unified command has been setup consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office, Settoon Towing and Chevron. Contracting organizations also include ES&H, CTEC Air Monitoring, T&T Salvage and Resolve Marine.
The cause of the incident is investigation.
gCaptain’s earlier coverage and several photos of the fire can be found HERE.