The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW ORLEANS) – The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a barge explosion on the ship channel in Mobile Bay Wednesday.
Coast Guard Sector Mobile watchstanders received the initial notification at 8:40 p.m. reporting the barge explosion between the George Wallace Tunnel and the Bankhead Tunnel in Mobile Bay. A second explosion was reported at 9:10 p.m.
Three burn-related injuries have been reported and their current conditions are unknown.
The Coast Guard Cutter Stingray, Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island, Ala., 25-foot and 45-foot response boat crews, and additional federal, state and local agencies have responded to the incident.
The barge was an empty compressed natural gas barge that was at the dock for cleaning.
A one nautical mile safety zone has been established around the barge.
The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the incident.