Search for missing Texas oil-barge crew members suspended

HOUSTON (Reuters) – A sea and air search was suspended on Sunday for 2 crew members who went lacking after an oil barge caught hearth early on Friday and leaked an undetermined quantity of the gasoline into the Gulf of Mexico off Port Aransas, Texas, authorities stated.

There was quick willpower of what brought on the hearth, which was extinguished on Friday. The seek for the lacking crew members was halted after it turned up no indicators of the 2, stated U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Edward Wargo.

Authorities are bringing in further floating booms to include oil across the barge, which is anchored about three miles off Port Aransas, a Coast Guard spokesman stated. Earlier they put about 2,000 ft (609.6 meters) of containment growth across the vessel.

Efforts have been beneath method on Sunday to seal two oil tanks that have been breached through the early morning hearth. Aerial pictures launched by the Coast Guard present a gap on the deck on the ship’s bow.

After the tanks are sealed, authorities are contemplating transferring a number of the oil to a different vessel and towing the barge to port.

“We’re exploring a number of alternative ways” to maneuver the barge, stated Brittany Eck, a spokeswoman for the Texas Basic Land Workplace, which is participating within the response to the hearth and oil spill.

The barge, operated by Bouchard Transportation Co, holds about 137,000 barrels of oil and was headed to Corpus Christi, Texas, when the hearth began. A Bouchard spokesman declined to touch upon efforts to restore the tanks.

The 2 tanks that have been uncovered through the hearth, which minimize by way of the ship’s deck, maintain about 20,000 barrels mixed, Eck stated.

Reporting by Gary McWilliams; Modifying by Lisa Von Ahn

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