While welding aboard an empty crude barge in Texas, two men escaped injury when the vessel exploded. One of the men was thrown onto the adjacent dock and the other into the water. The MOC II, which is 240-feet wide was being prepared for service when the explosion occurred on March 25. A public affairs officer for the U.S. Coast Guard, said a welder and his assistant decided to vent the space they were working in by "unconventional means." It was improper venting that most probably led to the explosion. The explosion threw the welder from the vessel and into the water; windows were blown out of the tugboat Shirley Mahone, moored 100 yards away. Containment booms were placed around the barge as a precaution, but the pollution was minimal.
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