Coast Guard, partner agencies respond to adrift burning barge

The Coast Guard responds to an adrift barge that caught on fire approximately 2 miles west of Cat Island, Mississippi, August 3, 2017. Sector Mobile watchstanders directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Gulfport, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, and Coast Guard Cutter Brant from Gulfport to assess the situation. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Davis/Released)

The Coast Guard responds to an adrift barge that caught on fire approximately 2 miles west of Cat Island, Mississippi, August 3, 2017.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Davis)

NEW ORLEANS—The Coast Guard is responding to an adrift barge that caught on fire approximately 2 miles west of Cat Island, Mississippi, Thursday.

Gulfport Fire Department reports that they have extinguished the fire.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Mobile, Alabama, received a report at approximately 1:20 p.m. that a barge being pushed by the tug vessel Kathryn T. Devall caught fire with a reported 2,500 tons of anhydrous ammonia and 800 gallons of diesel fuel.

“Safety of the public and first responders is our number one priority as we respond to this incident,” said Capt. Malcolm McLellan, the Sector Commander of Sector Mobile.

The crew of the tug was unable to extinguish the fire and released the barge from the tug. There are no reported injuries.

The barge is currently drifting in an eastern direction and is approximately 4 1/2 miles south of Pass Christian, Mississippi.

The Coast Guard has established a 2 1/2-mile safety zone surrounding the barge.

Sector Mobile watchstanders directed the launch of a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Gulfport, an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile, Alabama, and Coast Guard Cutter Brant from Gulfport to assess the situation.

ES&H, an air monitoring service, and T&T Marine, a salvage company, are currently en route to the barge.

There is a reported 100-foot sheen coming from the barge.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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