CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — The search for two crew members of a dredging boat who went missing following an explosion last week in the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard announced.
The end of the search was announced late Saturday night, a few hours after the Coast Guard said the bodies of two other crew members of the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd had been found.
“Our Coast Guard crews worked intently alongside state and local partners to locate the two crew members who remained missing, but unfortunately, we were unable to locate them,” said Capt. Edward Gaynor, commander, Coast Guard Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi. “The decision to suspend a search is never easy and a lot of factors are considered before suspending a search. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of the missing crew members during this difficult time.”
The explosion happened at about 8 a.m. Friday when the vessel struck a submerged pipeline, according to the Coast Guard. Port of Corpus Christi officials said it was a natural gas pipeline.
The cause is still being investigated, officials said.
The Waymon L Boyd is owned by Houston-based marine construction contractor Orion Marine Group.
The fire onboard the vessel was first extinguished Friday afternoon, but sparked again and was finally put out at approximately 10 p.m. Friday, shortly before the vessel broke apart and sunk, the Coast Guard said.
The vessel carried a maximum of about 6,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
The Texas General Land Office, which investigates oil spills, has said diesel is being recovered from the channel and around environmentally sensitive areas.
Air quality tests have found no air pollution and testing of the waterway is planned, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.
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.)