LA Tugboat Crash Ignites Gas Pipeline


Associated Press

Lafitte (LA) — A fire ignited when a gas pipeline was hit by a tug boat pushing an oil barge. It burned into early morning Wednesday in a bayou south of New Orleans amid reports that oil had leaked into the water.

There was still liquid petroleum gas in the 19-mile pipeline and authorities were waiting for it to burn out, Coast Guard Petty Officer Alex Washington said.

Coast Guard Ensign Tanner Stiehl said the collision happened Tuesday at about 6 p.m. CDT on Bayou Perot, a marshy area near where Lafourche and Jefferson parishes meet, about 30 miles south of New Orleans.

The tugboat and barge were engulfed in flames, and heavy smoke billowed from the scene.

Authorities were waiting until daylight to get an idea of how much oil had leaked from the barge.

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