1 killed, 1 missing after oil barge catches fire off coast of Port Aransas

6 crew members rescued; Port of Corpus Christi closed


PORT ARANSAS, Texas – One person was killed and another was missing after an oil barge caught fire early Friday off the coast of Port Aransas, KRIS-TV.com reported.

According to Lt. Jennae Steinmiller of the U.S. Coast Guard, the barge carrying 7.3 million gallons of sour crude oil caught fire around 4:30 a.m. roughly four miles off the coast.

Six people safely boarded a tugboat, Steinmiller said.

The Port of Corpus Christi is closed while the Coast Guard battles the fire.

RELATED: One person missing after oil rig explosion in Louisiana

Capt. Bobby Grumbles, of the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots Association, said the explosion happened while the tug was pulling in anchor about 3.25 miles offshore. There was no pilot on board when it exploded, KRIS-TV.com reported.

The vessel was heading to the Gulf Copper Ship Yard in Port Aransas, Grumbles said.

The tank remains anchored as it burns off fuel. The tug is nearby, detached and also anchored.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Texas General Land Office are investigating the accident and monitoring the accident site.

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