Gulf fireball extinguished

Extinguished: emergency operations conclude in LPG blaze

A fireball spewing from a ruptured pipeline off Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico has been extinguished with no current threat of reigniting, the US Coast Guard said on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard said crews had on Monday completed "purging operations of the pipeline fire" about 30 miles south of New Orleans.

"After extensive shoreline assessments and subsequent actions the unified command of the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office, Settoon Towing, Chevron and the Coast Guard have deemed there is no threat of fire or explosions at this time," the Coast Guard said in the first update on the incident since Friday.

A fire started last Tuesday evening when a Settoon-owned tug towing a barge collided with a Chevron-owned pipeline carrying liquid petroleum gas .

The Coast Guard said in its latest update that the "emergency response phase has concluded".

"Agencies will continue to monitor for any environmental impacts while developing a salvage plan to remove the tug from the bayou and make repairs to the pipeline," it said.

The barge was removed from the pipeline last week and securely offloaded. It had been carrying about 2200 barrels of crude at the time of the accident.

No oil was spilt and there were no impacts to wildlife, the Coast Guard said.

Chevron had been flaring gas to clear the pipeline of residual LPG. The Coast Guard had put in place flight restrictions in a mile radius as the fireball burned.

Four crew members evacuated the tug Shannon E. Settoon. The reportedly suffered second- to third-degree burns. His condition was not known.

The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of the accident.

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