1399 days ago
Three killed in blast aboard tug
On Jan 19, 2018, an explosion on the "William E. Strait" on the Tennessee River killed three people and seriously injured several others. The vessel was docked at a facility outside of Calvert City, Kentucky for repairs. In the morning, a blast occurred in her interior, leading to a flash fire. Local police received an emergency call reporting the explosion at 09.17 a.m. and dispatched multiple agencies to respond. In all, 15 different state, local and private organizations came to the scene to provide assistance. The injured included Javier Fuenes, Wilson Madrid, Billy Counts, James Lang and Tyler Wedington. Lang, Counts and Wedington were seriously injured; they were taken to a hospital in Nashville and are in stable condition. The deceased included Timothy L. Wright, 52, of Calvert City; Jerome A. Smith, 56, of Thibodaux, Louisiana; Quentin J. Stewart, 41, of Opelousas, Louisiana. The U.S. Coast Guard and OSHA were on scene and are participating in the investigation. The cause of the accident was not yet known, but the state police said that there was no indication of foul play. The site of the blast was a yard owned by Calvert-based First Marine, and 41 yard employees and contractors were on scene at the time of the incident. The "William E. Strait", a 200-foot, twin screw towboat built in 1955, sank after a collision near Memphis in December 2015 and was later salvaged. Reports with photos and video: http://wkrn.com/2018/01/19/3-dead-many-injured-after-boat-explodes-on-tennessee-river/ http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/2018/01/19/three-families-lose-loved-ones-explosion-near-calvert-city/ http://wkms.org/post/three-people-dead-numerous-injuries-after-boat-explosion-tennessee-river
Salvage work re-commenced
The US Coast Guard and local agencies re-commenced response efforts for the "William E. Strait" on the Lower Mississippi River near Memphis on Jan 27. A Unified Command has been established consisting of U.S Coast Guard, Western Rivers Boat Management and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The Mississippi River was open to one way traffic between mile markers 726 to 728. A salvage plan has been reviewed to safely remove the sunken tug. Ongoing preparations were currently in place. Assets involved in the William Strait sinking: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientific support coordinator A Coast Guard 25-foot Response Boat-Small crew Memphis Police Department Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Budwine & Associates McKinney Salvage and Heavy Lift Big River Shipbuilders and Salvage Inc. Environmental Safety and Health (ES&H) The Coast Guard was working very closely with the other agencies to manage the risk associated with the recovery of the sunken vessel and minimize pollution in the process.
Tug still on the bottom of the Mississippi
The "William E. Strait" was still remaining at the bottom of the Mississippi River south of Memphis 25 days after a collision caused it to sink on Dec 14, 2015. U.S. Coast Guard officials were keeping a close eye on the vessel that presents potential pollution hazards. Because of the high waters, crews have not yet been able to salvage the tug, which, however, has not caused any major problems to date. But it was carrying up to 96,000 gallons of diesel and oils, so crews of the Coast Guard base in Memphiskeep monitoring it every day to prevent a Spill. The Mississippi River crested at 40 feet on Jan 8. According to the Coast Guard, it is not feasible for divers to go to the boat when waters are higher than 34 feet. The wreck will be removed from the river when the water levels reach 27 feet. Acutally only the masts were protruding from the water. Crews expected to begin the process of removing the vessel next week. Report with video: http://www.fox13memphis.com/news/coast-guard-monitoring-potential-pollution-from-sunken-boat-in-mississippi-river/14537948Upload News