Federal investigators say a 2013 barge fire in Mobile is linked to the facility failing to isolate tank-cleaning operations from potential sources of ignition.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators said in a report that Oil Recovery Company workers were stripping two barges of residual gasoline on April 24, 2013. Investigators say the barges vented flammable vapors during the cleaning process.
A Coast Guard report says a passing tugboat helped spark the massive explosions that rocked the Mobile River and injured three people in April.
A preliminary report says workers were cleaning fuel storage tanks on two barges moored at Oil Recovery Co. in Mobile on April 24.
The report says flammable vapors from the barges entered the engine room of the towing boat Safety Runner, causing a brief fire. Investigators believe the flames traveled back to the barges and resulted in the explosions.