The first blast occurred on a natural gas barge on the east side of Mobile River around 8:30 pm local time. Officials told Fox 10 News that there were no fatalities although some crew members did report burn injuries.
The first explosion was followed shortly by the second and third blasts.
Initial reports indicated that the explosions came from one vessel, although the Mobile Fire Department’s official Twitter feed reported that the blasts came from two barges.
Fire and emergency crews rushed to the scene Wednesday night. According to the local police scanner, rescue units are struggling to put out the blaze.
The barges were at the Austal shipyard, early reports said. They were transporting natural gas and were believed to be partially emptied, according to Steve Huffman, a spokesperson for Mobile Fire-Rescue.
The Carnival Triumph, in Mobile’s port undergoing repairs, was evacuated, and spectators were asked to move away from the waterfront.
Coast Guard investigators on the scene were also turning away spectators, perhaps in fear of a fourth explosion.