The west side of the shipping channel was where a lot of people stopped and watched over the water near the convention center.
"It sounded like a giant wreck like you could see a flame shoot up in the air and just a bunch of smoke," says one of the people who stopped to look Heath Harvey. On the east side of the channel you could see police directing traffic. This is near where Austal is and the explosions were happening about a quarter mile down the road.
"Right now it's raw gasoline that hasn't been treated and we're having some rumblings purging off the tanks from the pressure built in them and we're just going to let the product burn off," says Mobile Fire Rescue Chief Stephen Dean. We watched first responders gradually pull out as the scene got calmer and as of last night officials considered this an accident.
"Came in as a building fire our units came in they saw the fire on the tug and about the time they got there was about the time they had the explosion," says Dean. It's a long night for everyone as they waited for the fire to die down. The examination of exactly what happened comes next.
"[The barges] were tied up at one of the docks there they were working on them today getting them ready to reload and send them out sometime tomorrow," says Dean. Not a lot of Austal employees stayed to watch the chaos. They were given the night off as a safety precaution.