Massive blaze after tug hits pipeline

Written by Nick Blenkey

Blaze USCG PHOTOGRAPHMARCH 13, 2013 — The Coast Guard is responding to an allision between a tug pushing a barge and a pipeline near Bayou Perot 30 miles south of New Orleans, Tuesday. A massive fire broke out following the allision.

Coast Guard Sector New Orleans watchstanders received a report that the 47-foot tug Shanon E. Settoon (owned by Pierre Part, LA, headquartered Settoon Towing) was pushing a 154-foot oil barge when it allided with a pipeline 6 p.m., Tuesday.

According to media reports, the barge was carrying 2,215 barrels of crude oil. ES&H has been hired as the oil spill response organization.

All crew members were able to exit the tug; the captain reportedly suffered second to third-degree degree burns.

WWL TV reported last night that, while all four people on the tug had been accounted for, a man was being treated at the West Jefferson Medical Center where officials said he had suffered burns to over 75 percent of his body and would be be transferred to the Baton Rouge General Burn Facility. He is in critical condition.

A second person on the tug boat hurt his side when he was knocked off the boat.

WWL TV also reported that the U.S. Coast Guard would not try to extinguish the large barge and pipeline fire that broke out.

The TV station reported officials as saying “the water is too shallow and the fire is too intense to put out.”

Other media reported that the Jefferson Parish Fire Department had equipment that can reach the blaze and was attempting to put it out.

AP reports a Coast Guard official as saying that the pipeline is owned by Chevron and that the company has isolated the pipeline from other mains, “so only whatever was in the pipeline will be able to burn.”

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