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Two Missing Crew Members Discovered After A Dredging Vessel Explodes

The Fort Worth Business Press reported on its website earlier this week that a dredging vessel exploded, killing two crew members at the Port of Corpus Christi last Friday.

United States Coast Guard Captain Jason Gunning told reporters during a press conference on Saturday that the vessel Waymon L Boyd struck a submerged natural gas pipeline at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Friday, August 21st.   

The bodies of two missing crew members were found on Saturday. Their identities were not released at the time of the report. 

According to Sean Strawbridge, CEO of the Port of Corpus Christi, a full investigation is already underway.  “Search and rescue efforts are our first priority. It will not be clear for some time the cause of this accident, and any definitive statements to the contrary would be premature,” Strawbridge told reporters.

Brent Koza, the regional manager for the Texas General Land Office, said in a statement that the Waymon L. Boyd dredging vessel could carry up to 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel.  Koza said that his agency, which is responsible for investigating oil spills, is already preparing for what might be a worst-case scenario for a diesel fuel discharge.

“Diesel is being recovered from the channel and around environmentally sensitive areas,” Koza said.

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality spokesperson Brooke West said that so far, no air quality pollution has been detected and water quality testing for the area around the Port of Corpus Cristi is planned.

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