Coast Guard responds to a pipeline rupture in the Gulf of Mexico

MORGAN CITY, La. — The Coast Guard is investigating the circumstances surrounding a pipeline rupture near buoys five and six of the Atchafalaya Channel that occurred Wednesday morning.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, La., received a report at 7:45 a.m., Wednesday, from Coast Guard Sector New Orleans reporting that the dredge G. D. Morgan, owned by Weeks Marine, Inc., had struck a gas pipeline, resulting in a fire and minor injuries.

Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City, La., responded with a team of investigators, inspectors and pollution personnel. The pipeline was identified as being owned by Contango Oil & Gas Company and was shut-in before 8 a.m., immediately following the rupture.

The Coast Guard has established a safety zone for Eugene Island block 63 from buoy three to buoy eight, to include an approximately one-mile radius from the incident site.

“This safety zone is necessary to protect the general public and vessel traffic from any dangers resulting from diving operations while repairing the damaged pipeline,” Captain J. Scott Paradis, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Morgan City, said. “This response is a collaborative effort by all involved parties, and safety is the prime mover behind the safety zone implementation.”

The Atchafalaya Channel will be closed for four-hour increments and traffic being held will be cleared every four hours. Vessels are prohibited from entering this safety zone unless they have been granted permission by the Captain of the Port, Morgan City.

The incident remains under Coast Guard investigation.

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