The Port of Corpus Christi is still open to tankers despite an early Friday fire on a barge loaded with crude, a top port official said. “We haven’t received any instructions as yet from the [US Coast Guard] to close down or restrict tanker movements to our port due to the fire on that barge, which was loaded with 140,000 barrels of crude,” said Charles Zahn, chairman of the Port of Corpus Christi Administration.
A barge, identified as B255 and operated by Bouchard Transportation, caught fire early Friday morning at the Aransas Pass anchorage, a Coast Guard official said. The Coast Guard received a report of the fire at 4:30 am CDT (0930 GMT), said Jennae Steinmiller, an ensign with the Coast Guard at Corpus Christi.
There was a total of eight crew members aboard the barge, of which two are unaccounted for, she said. “There are no pollution reports at this time,” Steinmiller said, adding that a unified command under the Coast Guard is coordinating putting out the fire. The Aransas Pass anchorage is a Gulf of Mexico sandbar located some 36 miles from the Port of Corpus Christi inner harbor.