Coast Guard responding to barge explosion on Mississippi River

NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard is responding to a tank barge explosion on the Mississippi River near Sunshine, La., Saturday.

At approximately 3:30 p.m., Saturday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report from the Iberville Parish Fire Department of a barge explosion at the LBC Tank Terminals. The explosion was reported to have occurred while the barge was loading benzene. The IPFD reported the fire is out and that there were two injuries. The extent of those injuries is unknown.

Air monitoring is being conducted, and a Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Baton Rouge 25 foot response boat, barge inspectors, and Coast Guard investigators have responded on scene.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is assisting the Coast Guard in its response efforts. The Coast Guard has notified water intake owners near the area, but there are no reports of pollution in the water at this time. The river remains open, and a safety advisory is being broadcast alerting vessels in the area of incident.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.

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