NTSB: Ineffective maintenance led to deadly 2017 barge blast

Federal investigators have concluded that a deadly 2017 barge blast in Port Aransas resulted from the absence of safety management and maintenance of the barge.

Meanwhile, the National Transportation Safety Board issued its own findings in a recent report on the Oct. 10, 2017, blast aboard the articulated tug and barge Buster Bouchard (boo-SHAHRD’) 3 miles (5 kilometers) away Port Aransas, Texas. The explosion killed two crew members.

The board stated the absence of maintenance resulted in petroleum cargo leaking through a corroded bulkhead to a void in a cabin, forming a vapor that triggered when the chain was raised by the crew. The board also cited ineffective surveys and inspections by the U.S. Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping.