NTSB Report Issued on Barge Explosion

by | Oct 19, 2020 | Maritime Law

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its investigative report on the November, 2019 incident when the barge IB1940 exploded.  At the time, the barge was moored at the Illinois Marine Towing Heritage Slip in Lemont, Illinois.  The barge’s load had been removed, and it was being prepared for cleaning when the explosion occurred.   lif t boat Kristin Faye overturned while operating in the Gulf of Mexico.  The incident occurred while the lift boat was elevated above the water to perform work at the Platform AQ.  All three crew members were forced to abandon the vessel.  At the time the boat was located 18 miles east of Venice, Louisiana.

The NTSB’s report indicated the probable cause of the incident:

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the explosion aboard the barge IB1940 was the company’s incomplete procedures that did not incorporate the safety instructions included in the Facility Operations Manual regarding the electrical bonding of air movers to barges, resulting in an unbonded air mover being operated in a cargo tank with residual acetone, thereby causing a static electrical discharge, which ignited flammable vapors in the tank.

The report also noted the importance of proper procedures:

Hazardous cargos with flammable vapors are subject to the risk of explosion. Shipboard and shoreside personnel working aboard vessels and barges carrying such cargos should establish and follow procedures for the bonding of all air-moving equipment when venting tanks.

Our attorneys have extensive experience in maritime injury and wrongful death litigation in courts across the country and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives as a result of the negligence of another party, or been seriously injured.  We have handled numerous cases involving injuries that occurred on barges.  The experienced vessel accident attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of a maritime accident.  Please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your legal rights.