Posted on July 16, 2018 by Hannah Berry
A public hearing began at 8 a.m. today to look at evidence relating to the explosion which occurred aboard the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge in October 2017 and all media outlets were invited.
The hearing which is being held at the US Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston Is expected to last until 27th July and will look at a wide variety of evidence relating to the incident, including the condition of the barge prior to and at the time of the incident, the Bouchard Transportation organisational structure and culture, the regulatory compliance record of the Bouchard No. 255 tank barge, the towing vessel Buster Bouchard, and the Coast Guard inspections program.
The date for the public hearing was formally announced in May, seven months after the fatal blast which destroyed the barge B255 on 20th October 2017 and left two crew members unaccounted for.
The captain of the tug vessel ‘Buster Bouchard’ had sent a Mayday call to report the fire whilst three miles off the jetties of Port Aransas, Texas. However, the search and rescue operation was called off by the US Coast Guard just two days later.
The National Transportation Safety Board are participating fully in the public hearing, but are also conducting their own hearing.
An e-mail address has been set up by the Coast Guard for the public to provide information, ask questions and make comments related to the ongoing investigation and scheduled hearing.