Mobile Barge Explosion Update

Mobile Barge Explosion Update

Posted: Updated:
MOBILE, Ala. -

Seven separate blasts shook buildings in downtown Mobile Wednesday night and were heard as far away as Bay Minette and beyond.

New 5 obtained video from Tad Denson of all the explosions. He was right there as the explosions went off.

The barges were carrying gasoline and workers were cleaning them when something sparked a fire, setting off that series of explosions.

People who were close to the explosions told News 5 they could feel the heat.

Fires on two fuel barges burned throughout the night. It's believed vapors building up from a compartment with residual gasoline inside triggered the first explosion, setting off a series of blasts, from one compartment to the next.

Nearby, cruise ship employees evacuated the Triumph for the Mobile Civic Center,where they spent the night.

Emergency crews created a one mile safe zone and monitored the burning barges overnight. Once the flames were out and the barges cooled down, HazMat teams moved in and at 9:31 Thursday morning deemed it safe.

The FAA opened up air space over Mobile, and News 5 took to the air to see the damage from above.

You can see the hatches that once covered the compartments blown open.

Back on the ground, we found one of those hatches, probably weighing several tons, thrown more than a hundred yards from the barges. That proves how powerful the explosions were.

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