Firefighters in Mobile, Alabama and the Coast Guard responded Wednesday night to four explosions on two fuel barges that normally hold compressed natural gas in the Mobile River that left three people injured.
Explosions could be felt from miles away in Spanish Fort and Daphne, Alabama, over 10 miles away across the river.
First explosion occurred at 8.40pm, and the second at 9.10pm. The explosions happened in an area of the river east of downtown Mobile.
The explosions rattled the windows of houses in downtown, blew doors open in the Spanish Fort area and aftershocks were reported in Bay Minette and Fort Morgan.
Fire and rescue crews were responding to two explosions and a fire at the natural gas barges when a third explosion occurred. A fourth explosion was then reported just before 10pm local time.
Rescue crews have to let the ships burn because they are ‘too unstable’.
Three people were hospitalized with burns. All three are in critical condition and remain unidentified.
The barge was empty and was being held at the Mobile Bay ship channel for cleaning.
The cause of the fire remains unknown but the police plan to let the flames burn into the night because they feel the situation is too unstable