CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The bodies of two missing crew members of a dredging boat were found Saturday following an explosion a day earlier in the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Two other crew members of the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd remain missing, the Coast Guard said in a news release.
A Coast Guard helicopter and boats were searching for the missing crew members.
The explosion happened at about 8 a.m. Friday when the dredging vessel struck a submerged pipeline, Coast Guard Lt. Marina Lawrence said. The Port of Corpus Christi has said it was a natural gas pipeline.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the impacted crewmen and their families,” Sean Strawbridge, CEO, Port of Corpus Christi, said in a statement.
“A full investigation is underway; however, search and rescue efforts are our first priority. It will not be clear for some time the cause of this accident, and any definitive statements to the contrary would be premature,” Strawbridge said.
The Waymon L Boyd is owned by Houston-based marine construction contractor Orion Marine Group.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard and other responders in their efforts to recover our missing crewmen,” Orion CEO Mark Stauffer said in the statement.
The fire onboard the vessel was extinguished at approximately 10 p.m. Friday after the vessel broke apart and sunk, the Coast Guard said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statement Friday that read:
“The State of Texas is working closely with local partners in Corpus Christi as well as the Coast Guard to assist with emergency response efforts following the explosion. Texas Division of Emergency Management and Texas Department of Public Safety personnel are already on the ground to provide support, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is monitoring air quality in the area. The state stands ready to provide any additional personnel and resources needed to address this event and keep Texans in the area safe. We will continue to monitor the situation, and I ask all Texans to pray for the men and women responding to the explosion and for the safety of those in the area.”
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)