At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24, 2013, two empty unmanned tank barges owned by Kirby Inland Marine, LP were being cleaned at Oil Recovery Company and caught fire and exploded. The barges had been turned over to the shipyard and were in its custody when the incident occurred. The U.S. Coast Guard, Mobile Fire Department and Port of Mobile officials have responded to the incident. It is reported that three individuals were injured and we understand they are hospitalized with burns. None of the individuals are Kirby employees. Reasons for the explosion and fire remain unknown at this time.
Kirby representatives immediately notified federal and state authorities of the incident and are cooperating fully in the response. The Company has deployed its Strike Team and activated outside salvage and firefighter contractors to respond to the scene. At present, authorities reportedly have secured the area and the fire is out.
Kirby is fully engaged and working with the Coast Guard and Oil Recovery officials in determining the cause of the incident. As this remains under investigation, we will continue to gather information and will make it available as appropriate.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured individuals and their families who are affected by this incident.
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