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2 Orion Marine Barge Workers Recovered After Corpus Christi Pipeline Explosion, Search for 2 Others Suspended

Search crews have recovered the remains of two of the four Texas maritime workers missing after an Orion Marine Group dredge struck an underwater pipeline in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel last Friday morning.

Sadly, the U.S. Coast Guard has ended the search for the other missing men, and they are presumed dead.

“The decision to suspend a search is never easy, and a lot of factors are considered before suspending a search,” Edward Gaynor, the captain of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi, said in a statement issued on Saturday night. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of the missing crew members during this difficult time.”

6 Workers Aboard Waymon L. Boyd Treated for Burns, Other Injuries

Nineteen workers were aboard the Waymon L. Boyd when the dredge struck a submerged pipeline at the barge loading dock along Refinery Row sometime around 8:00 a.m. on August 21st.

The pipe ruptured, triggering an explosion that was heard and felt for miles. The resulting fire engulfed the barge and a nearby grain silo. The blaze wasn’t extinguished until 10:00 p.m. Friday, shortly before the dredge broke apart and sunk.

Six Orion Marine workers were transferred to area hospitals, some with severe burns.

The bodies of the two missing crew were recovered on Saturday morning. The search for their comrades proved unsuccessful, and the recovery efforts were suspended that afternoon.

Orion Dredge Struck Enterprise Propane Pipeline

Because the incident involved a pipeline, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board is heading up the investigation into the deadly explosion.

“A determination of the cause will be forthcoming,” Sean Strawbridge, the chief executive of the Port of Corpus Christi, said on Saturday afternoon. “But until a full investigation is complete, any speculation of the cause is premature.”

While initial reports indicated the dredge had hit a natural gas pipeline, authorities have since confirmed that the pipeline is owned and operated by Enterprise Products Partners and transported propane. In a filing with Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Enterprise estimated the accident caused the release of 5,000 pounds of propane and 5,000 pounds of carbon monoxide.

The disaster forced the partial closure of the Port of Corpus Christi through the weekend. The Coast Guard was planning to recover the Waymon L. Boyd, but inclement weather from tropical storm Laura could hamper that effort.

Past Incidents Involving the Waymon L. Boyd and Orion Marine

Based in Washington State, Orion Marine Group is a heavy marine civil contractor specializing in a full spectrum of marine, industrial, and infrastructure construction services. According to the company’s website, those services include dredging, marine industrial and transportation facilities, environmental remediation and protection, commercial diving, and a wide range of other specialty services.

The Waymon L. Boyd was formerly a diesel-powered hydraulic dredge but was recently overhauled to run on electricity. According to KRIS 6 News, the dredge was the subject of a lawsuit connected to an unspecified incident that occurred on a voyage from Houston to Port Lavaca in 2012.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration cited Orion Marine for at least one “serious” safety violation.

In June 2014, an Orion Marine Group employee was struck by a bucket used in the dredging process and airlifted to the hospital from a barge operating in Washington State’s Port of Olympia.

Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consult with Our Undefeated Texas Offshore Explosion Lawyers

Our Undefeated Offshore Explosion Lawyers are monitoring developments related to the Corpus Christi Barge Explosion and will continue to post updates as new information becomes available.

In addition to being Undefeated, our Offshore Explosion Lawyers have won billions for workers and families in connection with the worst offshore explosions in history and frequently recover  Record-Setting Verdicts and Settlements on their behalf.

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If you or a loved one were injured in the Orion Barge Explosion, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

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