Four Injured, One Seriously, in Pipeline and Oil Barge Explosion

This video shows a fire burning near Bayou Perot about 30 miles south of New Orleans after the 47-foot tugboat SHANON E. SETTOON struck a liquefied natural gas pipeline on March 12. Four crewmembers sustained injuries, including the captain who sustained second- to third-degree burn injuries. While there were reports of oil in the shallow water, US Coast Guard Commander Russ Bowen said it appeared that the barge was intact and none of its cargo of crude oil was leaking. The fire continued to burn before being “virtually extinguished” by March 15.

At a news conference, Captain Jonathan Burton said protective boom was deployed in the area around the site and in nearby environmentally sensitive areas as a precaution, and oil skimmers were also dispatched. He said investigators had not determined why SHANON E. SETTOON hit the pipeline.

The Associated Press noted that the location of the fire is “crisscrossed by pipelines,” and three men sustained injuries in an explosion on a specialized oil rig in Bayou Perot in December 2010. A February 2012 collision between a barge pushed by the CLARENCE W. SETTOON and a construction barge pushed by another tug caused resulted in resulted in an estimated 10,000 gallons of oil being spilled into the Mississippi River about 50 miles upriver from New Orleans.

Severe burn injuries not only involve significant medical expenses in the treatment of the burns, but can also cause significant psychological trauma for victims. Seamen and their families may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act if an employer’s negligence caused the burn injuries. Latti & Anderson LLP represents injured maritime workers and the families of those killed while working on the water, and our history of multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements obtained for clients includes a $4.5 million settlement for a merchant seaman who was unable to work for two years because of severe burn injuries.

You can learn more about tug and barge accidents and container ship and tanker vessel accidents by visiting our website. If you or a loved one sustained injuries while working at sea, fill out the form on this page to let our Jones Act lawyers review your case or contact our firm right now at (800) 392-6072 to set up a free consultation.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Jones Act attorneys