CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Firefighters are battling a major fire in Corpus Christi following a pipeline explosion along the city's refinery row.
The blast happened just after 8:05 a.m. near Lantana and I-37, possibly at EPIC Products near Lantana and Navigation.
Firefighters said the fire ignited a barge, which became fully engulfed. The fire then spread from the pipeline to the grain elevator.
KRIS reports that multiple people during the explosion ended up in the water.
CHRISTUS Spohn Shoreline representatives said they are treating four people from the explosion. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time.
Two victims are being flown to Brooke Army Medical Center burn units in San Antonio.
Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said there is a search and rescue operation for four people who are still missing.
KRIS has learned that EPIC Products had a brand new pipeline built for loading. It was reportedly going in at the facility when there was a pipeline rupture at the barge loading dock.
According to Lieutenant Marina Lyons with the US Coast Guard, a dredge struck a submerged pipeline causing a fire in the Corpus Christi ship channel.
The owner of the barge said they had multiple employees working at the site at the time of the explosion.
The Corpus Christi Police Department has closed off Lantana Street to traffic as crews work to contain the inferno.
Fire Crews are working an incident near Lantana and Up River Rd. Please avoid the area if possible.
— Corpus Christi PD (@CorpusChristiPD) August 21, 2020
This story was originally published by Eddie Cruz, Ryan Garza and Ana Tamez at KRIS.